Common errors people may find on their credit reports

A credit report affects many aspects of someone’s life. Obviously, someone’s credit score and history of recent credit use can affect their finances. An accurate and positive credit report can help someone qualify for a lower-cost mortgage or better terms when financing the purchase of a vehicle. Credit reports can also affect people’s careers, as employers may perform credit checks as part of the background review process when vetting new hires or those seeking promotions. Landlords also sometimes perform credit checks to determine if they want to rent to a potential new tenant.

Errors in someone’s credit report could hold them back from important opportunities and might cost them real money in the form of higher interest rates or financing costs. The following types of errors commonly show up on credit reports, so consumers should keep a close eye out for them.

Inaccurate personal information

Sometimes, the credit bureaus seemingly have outdated information about an individual. They may not have someone’s current address or employer included in the record. Other times, there could be confusion with someone else who has the same date of birth or name. People may need to correct the personal details on their credit report in some cases.

Inaccurate account information

Sometimes, creditors report the wrong information about someone’s account status or balance. Other times, there could be notes about past-due accounts or judgments that someone has resolved with the creditor. There could also be accounts that belong to someone else or that are likely the result of identity theft. In some cases, creditors might show an account as open when someone has closed it or past-due when they make their payments on time every month.

Outdated information

Certain blemishes, like judgments, late payments and bankruptcy discharges, can negatively affect someone’s credit. There are limits to how long the credit bureaus can report those issues, and some people find that old negative entries do not come off of their credit reports in a timely fashion.

Technically, members of the public have the right to challenge inaccurate data on their credit reports. Doing so can sometimes be a challenge. People may need help learning about their rights and how to utilize them. Recognizing what information could be inaccurate on a credit report can help people better monitor the credit information that could affect their careers and finances.

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