Credit report mistakes happen more often than you may think.
Nearly a quarter of Americans say they’ve discovered problems with their credit reports and found errors that could affect their ability to get credit or a better interest rate.
Here’s how to get a copy of your credit report and here are the errors to look for:
Outdated Personal Information
- When pulling your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus, compare your information. Make sure your name is spelled correctly and the right middle initial is used.
- Updated your information if you’ve recently moved or have had your name changed. If you’re getting divorced, remove your name from any joint accounts so you won’t be liable for future debts and check your credit report after you’re divorced to make sure no new debts from your ex are added to your record.
- Check for correct address and phone numbers. Review your employment information and Social Security number. These corrected errors can boost your credit score.
Incomplete or Duplicate Accounts
- Make sure each of your reports are filled out completely. The credit reporting agency (CRA), and the organization that provided the information to the agency, such as a bank or credit card company, have responsibilities for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.
- Sometimes accounts are reported more than once. This makes it look as if you have more open credit and higher debt.
- If you closed a credit account, make sure that your report does not list it as “closed by grantor”. This means that the lender closed the account, not you, and can have a negative effect.
Mistaken or Fraudulent Accounts –
- After reviewing your information, count the number of accounts listed on your credit report. A error can occur between you and someone with a similar name or someone who lives at the same address you may have lived in the past. This can cause an account to be placed on your record accidentally.
- Identity theft is also a major concern. Being aware of the accounts associated with your name can keep you informed if this is from happening.
- If you believe fraudulent activity has been involved in errors made on your report, consult and attorney to see what legal remedies may be available.
Be proactive and keep track of your credit score. Take the time to check your credit report once a year.
Knowing how to fix your credit report when errors have been made can mean the difference between being able to afford a loan or not.