What Are The 5 Most Common Credit Reporting Errors?
Most consumers understand the importance of an accurate credit report. That’s because credit reporting errors can result in lower credit scores, higher interest rates, difficulties obtaining credit, and a tarnished reputation.
With that in mind, the three major credit reporting companies (i.e., Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) are good at what they do but still make errors. Additionally, creditors and debt collection companies can make mistakes when reporting your information to credit reporting agencies.
These mistakes could lower credit scores, making it more difficult and expensive to borrow money or even impossible. To protect yourself and ensure your credit report is accurate, it’s essential to be aware of common credit report errors, such as:
- Credit Report Error Due to Inaccurate Information on Credit Reports
- Inaccurate or Incomplete Information Given to a Credit Reporting Company
- Incorrect Balances Resulting in Credit Errors
- Incorrect Information Due To Identify Theft
- Credit Report Errors Due to Data Management Mistakes
Continue reading to learn more about the most common credit reporting mistakes.
Credit Report Error Due to Inaccurate Information on Credit Reports
It’s essential to address any inaccurate information in your credit file and dispute credit report errors with the credit bureaus as soon as possible. These information errors on your credit may manifest in various forms, such as:
- Wrong address
- Misspelled or completely inaccurate name
- Wrong phone number
- Missing accounts
- Inaccurate social security number
Sometimes, these discrepancies result from identity theft, in other cases, mistakes on behalf of the data furnisher. Regardless of the reasons for the errors, it’s in your best interest to begin the dispute process as quickly as you can.
Inaccurate or Incomplete Information Given to a Credit Reporting Company
Countless people have fallen victim to incorrect information on their Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian credit report. This can significantly impact their credit score and ability to secure loans or credit in the future.
A few of the most common instances of inaccurate account status include but are not limited to the following:
- A collections account or credit account is reported as open when it is closed or paid off. This can lead to confusion for lenders and make it appear that you have a higher amount of outstanding debt than they actually do.
- Reported as the owner of an account when they were only an authorized user. This type of inaccurate account information can happen when a family member or partner adds you as an authorized user on their account, but the credit reporting agency needs to correctly list them as the primary account holder.
- Negative information (i.e., late or delinquent payments) is incorrectly reported, which can significantly negatively impact a person’s credit score. This can happen when payments are made on time but are not reported correctly by the creditor or credit bureau.
- Incorrect reporting of the date of last payment, date opened, or date of first delinquency. This can be caused by data entry errors or inaccuracies in the creditor’s records.
- The exact debt is listed multiple times on a credit report. This is known as duplicate debt and can make it appear that the borrower owes more than they actually do, which can negatively impact credit scores.
It’s essential to regularly review your credit report with the three credit bureaus to spot these errors. You can usually submit a dispute online if you find a disputed item.
Incorrect Balances Resulting in Credit Errors
One of the most common types of errors on credit reports is balance errors, such as accounts with incorrect current balances and inaccurate credit limits, which can lead to a lower credit score and make it more difficult for individuals to secure credit or loans.
Suppose you suspect that you have a balance error on your credit report. In that case, you should take action immediately by disputing the error with the credit bureau and providing any supporting documentation that strengthens your claim. If you need help to dispute an error, you should seek legal advice from an attorney specializing in debt law.
Incorrect Information Due To Identify Theft
Identity theft affects millions of Americans every year. Unfortunately, in addition to all the negatives of having your identity stolen, it can significantly affect your credit report.
This can happen when an identity thief uses your information to open credit accounts in your name, receive benefits such as employment, insurance, or housing, and make unauthorized purchases or withdrawals.
If you’ve been the victim of identity theft, taking immediate action to rectify the problem is essential (i.e., file a police report, dispute errors with credit bureaus, etc.). If you’re unable to do so on your own, it’s recommended that you consult with a proven debt attorney about the specifics of your case.
Credit Report Errors Due to Data Management Mistakes
Data management errors happen a lot more than they should. One of the most common credit reporting mistakes is reinserting incorrect information after it has already been corrected.
This can happen when a consumer disputes an error on their credit report, the credit reporting agency investigates and removes the error, but the same incorrect information reappears on the credit report later. This can be incredibly frustrating for the consumer, as it can take significant time and effort to correct the error again.
Another common data management error is the appearance of accounts multiple times on a credit report with different creditors listed. This can happen when:
- The same account is reported to multiple credit reporting agencies by different creditors, OR
- An account is mistakenly reported multiple times by the same creditor.
In both of these cases, it is vital for consumers to dispute any errors they find on their credit reports and stay vigilant in monitoring their credit reports for inaccuracies.
How To Dispute Credit Report Information On Your Credit History
At Ziegler Diamond Law, we understand the importance of maintaining an accurate credit score. To help ensure your financial security and stability, we offer our services to assist you in disputing any errors you may find on your Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian credit report.
Listed below are a few steps you can take on your own to spot and dispute inaccuracies on your credit file:
- Get a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion). This can be done by requesting a free annual report from each bureau at AnnualCreditReport.com. In many cases, the credit bureaus also offer free weekly credit reports.
- Carefully review your information, including your credit report, credit card statements, and other financial account records, to determine if there are any errors present. These could include incorrect accounts, personal data mistakes, or payment history inaccuracies.
- Compose a dispute letter to the bureau reporting the issue and explain what needs to be corrected. Include any supporting evidence, like police reports, when necessary.
- Send the dispute letter by certified mail and retain a copy for yourself. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandates that credit bureaus investigate disputes within 30 days of receipt.
- After 30 days, recheck your report to confirm that all incorrect info has been changed as requested. If it appears again, you will need to initiate another dispute or enlist other experts to assist in rectifying the error.
We understand how important it is to keep your credit score accurate and take action soon as an error appears. Whether you need help correcting the disputed information, filing a complaint against a collections agency, or requesting an information provider to update credit information, we’re here to help.
Contact Ziegler Diamond Law To Speak With a Debt Attorney
At Ziegler Diamond Law, our attorneys know how to spot credit reporting errors, violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and how to fix them. Don’t let mistakes ruin your credit when they don’t have to. Contact us today for a free consultation with a proven attorney for credit reporting errors in Florida.