Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

The 5 Most Common Credit Report Mistakes

Credit report mistakes are more common than you may think. So if you've run into problems with your credit report, know that you're not alone.

In fact, according to a new FindLaw.com survey, nearly a quarter of Americans -- 23% -- say they have experienced problems with their credit report.

Here are the five most common credit report mistakes, according to the FindLaw.com survey:

  1. Incorrect or outdated credit history information. Inaccurate credit information includes delinquent payments, payment history, bankruptcies, and so forth.
  2. Incorrect or outdated personal information. On the personal front, your information might be old when it comes to your address, work history, marital status, criminal history, number of dependents, and beyond.
  3. Identity theft or information mixed up with another person. Identity theft is a growing problem. If your credit report shows you racked up debt that wasn't really yours, settle it first with banks and credit card companies. After that, tackle your credit report.
  4. Credit score incorrectly reported as being too low. To fix a low figure, you can write to the credit reporting agency. Figure out what you think is inaccurate and include documentation to support your position. Request, in writing, that the errors be removed.
  5. Denied credit because of incorrect information in a credit report. Incorrect credit information can make it difficult for a person to obtain a mortgage, credit card, auto loan or other lines of credit.

If you find mistakes in your credit report, there are a number of ways to fix them.

Apart from the yearly credit reports you're legally entitled to receive for free, you also have the right to receive a free credit report after a company takes "adverse action" against you.

That means you can get a free report after you've been denied credit, insurance, or employment because of your credit.

Fortunately, the majority of surveyed people who had problems with their credit report say they were able to correct the problem.

Don't be like the 22% of Americans who've never checked their credit report at all. With your personal, financial, and professional reputation on the line, make sure to check your credit report periodically to ensure the information is accurate and current.

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