According to the Federal Trade Commission report nearly 20 percent of consumers had errors in at least one of their credit files.
The answer is “yes”
Earlier this year the Federal Trade Commission completed a multiyear study of credit reporting errors and found that nearly 20 percent of consumers had errors in at least one of their credit files, and that 13 percent saw an improvement in their scores when the errors were corrected.
Confused files, like Ms. Thomas’s, are also common. A 2012 study by The Columbus Dispatch analyzed 30,000 complaints to the F.T.C.; of those, 1,500 people reported that their files included someone else’s information. Nearly a third said the credit agencies did not correct the errors, despite being asked to do so.
Most egregious, almost 200 people said their reports showed them as deceased.
Consumer complained to a credit bureau reporting that he is dead. Was told that it had investigated and verified the report of his death.
Only now, decades after Congress established the reasonable-investigation requirement, are credit bureaus experimenting with sending lenders the actual consumer complaints. In theory, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could do more to make the investigations more aggressive — but unfortunately, the bureau, still in its infancy and embroiled in disputes over whether its director was properly appointed, hasn’t done so.
In short, it’s up to Congress to act to curb credit reporting errors.
It could, for one thing, improve accuracy by imposing liability on lenders for failing to conduct investigations when consumers complain to them. As it stands, consumers cannot sue lenders for failing to investigate without first complaining to a credit bureau, something consumers may not know to do. If consumers had greater rights against lenders, no doubt lenders would be more cautious about the accuracy of their records.
40 Million Mistakes: Is your credit report accurate? a 60 Minutes expose’, February 10, 2013
A mistake on your credit report can cost you money. It can increase the interest you pay on loans, prevent you from getting a mortgage or buying a car, landing a job or getting a security clearance. Its not uncommon. A new government study to be released tomorrow indicates as many as 40 million Americans have a mistake on their credit report. Twenty million have significant mistakes.
And our own investigation of the credit reporting industry shows that those mistakes can be nearly impossible to get removed from your record.
Click here to see the show…
We have several videos on our web site. Below is one that might be of interest:
- Click here for free credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies
- For tips from The National Consumer Law Center click here for what to check in your credit report
- Click here to file a credit reporting complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency that oversees the credit reporting industry.
MUSINGS BY DIANE:
“The credit reporting agencies have a special list of members of Congress, other lawmakers, special dignitaries and people in powerful positions – economic or political. That list is used to insure these folks will not have errors on their credit reports. That way they don’t feel the impact that 40 million people feel due to the credit reporting errors.
You can only hope that these ‘special people’ have someone close to them feel the pain caused by these credit reporting errors, like the inability to buy a house, finance a surgery or rent an apartment as a result of an error on your credit report. “