Are There Errors On Your Credit Report?

Pretty much everyone has a credit report and most are used to determine credit worthiness for various types of loans. But a surprising one in four reports contain some type of error according to a recent study done by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is responsible for overseeing the credit bureaus and regularly evaluates accuracy issues. Their 2013 report showed a whopping 25% contained errors in one of three categories.

Clerical Errors

These types of errors were associated with demographic information like a misspelled name or incorrect address and did not impact the score or lending decisions in most cases. These can be easily corrected by contacting the credit bureaus directly.

Account Errors

Account errors are much more serious. Instances of account details that are inaccurate can have a substantial impact on your credit. Things like accounts improperly reported as delinquent, inaccurate account balances or other derogatory information can result in a request for credit being declined. In these instances, you can dispute the information and also provide an explanation directly associated with the information.

Stolen Identity

These errors occur when someone else has actually taken on your identity and secured credit in your name. This is often the case when someone has stolen personal information (credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.) and used this to setup a false identity for themselves as if they were you. They then use this false identity to obtain credit from lenders, consume the available balance, then fail to make the payments and leave you responsible for the balance. In these cases you need to immediately dispute the charge with the credit issuer, dispute the information with the credit bureaus and report the stolen identity to the police.

No matter the type or reason, inaccurate information on your credit report can be a problem. So keep an eye on your report – you can get a free copy every year from the Federal Trade Commission’s website ( And if you need to correct or dispute information on your report, you can do that online as well. Just go to the credit bureaus websites and file the report. You’ll find them at (,, and

By: Evan A. Nielsen