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What to do if you find an error on your credit report

A new report shows one in five Americans have a mistake on their credit report. The errors can be costly and may hike up interest rates on your home and auto loans. A local credit counselor offers tips on what to do if you happen to find an error on your report.
DeWitt (WSYR-TV) -- A new report shows one in five Americans have a mistake on their credit report. The errors can be costly and may hike up interest rates on your home and auto loans.

Linda Rudnick-Smith with ClearPoint Credit Counseling has been crunching credit reports for years and says she’s uncovered numerous mistakes before.

According to the report, 42-million Americans have a mistake on their credit report and it happens often if you have a common name.

Rudnick-Smith says these are things you should be looking out for:
  • Make sure all the debt listed belongs to you – credit card accounts, student and car loans and mortgages will all show on your report.
  • If you didn’t pay a bill and it went to a collections agency that too will show up and it could have a big impact on your score.
Credit counselors say 80 percent of Americans don’t check their credit report regularly. It’s as easy as filling out a form and you can do it online for free.

And it’s even more critical nowadays because potential employers will pull your credit report.

“You prove your character by how you pay your bills and the credit report shows your payment history for the last seven years. So they can screen you out for a job and that’s the most important thing I think,” explained Rudnick-Smith.

It also impacts your ability to get a loan or secure a good interest rate. So if you find an error on your credit report, you’ll want to dispute it. That needs to be done in writing and you have to show proof that it’s wrong.

It could take months for your report to be updated. Rudnick-Smith says it’s worth it before a mistake starts costing you.

To get a copy of your credit report for free, CLICK HERE.
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