The most valuable thing we have is your good name. The most common reflection of your reputation as a trustworthy consumer is your credit report. According to reports, the information contained in your credit reports, which are bought and sold daily to nearly anyone who requests and pays for them, does not always tell a true story.
Credit bureaus collect and compile information about consumer creditworthiness from banks and other creditors and from public record sources such as lawsuits, bankruptcy filings, tax liens and legal judgments.
The three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union maintain files on nearly 90 percent of all American adults.
Consumers with serious errors in their credit reports can be denied credit, home loans, apartment rentals, auto insurance, or even medical coverage and the right to open a bank account or use a debit card. Consumers with serious errors in their reports who do obtain credit or a loan may have to pay higher interest rates because the mistakes falsely place them in the sub-prime, high-cost lending pool.
A study was conducted in 30 states and adults were asked to order their credit reports and complete a survey on the report’saccuracy.
The findings were:
- Twenty-five percent (25%) of the credit reports surveyed contained serious errors that could result in the denial of credit, such as false delinquencies or accounts that did not belong to the consumer;
- Fifty-four percent (54%) of the credit reports contained personal demographic information that was misspelled, long-outdated, belonged to a stranger, or was otherwise incorrect;
- Twenty-two percent (22%) of the credit reports listed the same mortgage or loan twice;
- Almost eight percent (8%) of the credit reports were missing major credit, loan, mortgage, or other consumer accounts that demonstrate the creditworthiness of the consumer;
- Thirty percent (30%) of the credit reports contained credit accounts that had been closed by the consumer but remained listed as open;
- Altogether, 79% of the credit reports surveyed contained either serious errors or other mistakes of some kind.
Since your Credit Reports are used to determine if you are to be given credit (and what rates you will be charged), it is in your best interest to examine your reports carefully, correct inaccurate information and maintain accurate credit reports.