Nearly a quarter of Americans say they have noticed problems on their credit reports, according to a new FindLaw.com survey.
Among the most common problems: inaccurate information, identity theft, incorrect credit scores and being denied credit because of mistakes on a credit report.
The survey found that 23% of Americans have come across one or more of these problems.
Impact of Credit Report Errors
Mistakes and other credit-report inaccuracies can have huge personal, financial and professional implications. This can include your ability to get a mortgage, a credit card, a car loan, or other forms of credit.
In some cases, credit reports can also be used against you if you're applying for a new job.
That's why it's important to check your credit report from time to time and make sure the information is secure, accurate, and current.
What to Do If There's a Problem
If you're among the nearly 1 in 4 Americans who notices a credit report mistake, don't fret. The vast majority of surveyed people who had problems with their credit report say they were able to correct the problem.
In fact, 68% of people were able to completely fix their problem. Another 14% faced multiple problems but were able to get at least one of them fixed. However, 18% said they had no luck in getting their problem fixed.
In most cases, consumers do have options to clear up mistakes on their credit reports.
For example, under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, you are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.
Federal law also sets requirements for resolving disputes involving the accuracy of information in a person's credit report.
The number of people catching mistakes on their credit reports may seem surprising. But perhaps even more surprising, a similar number of respondents -- 22% -- admitted that they'd never checked their credit report to verify the accuracy of the information.