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Incorrect, Outdated Information Most Common Issue on Credit Reports

May 30, 2013

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Incorrect, Outdated Information Most Common Issue on Credit Reports

While 22 percent of Americans admitted they have never checked their credit report, nearly a quarter also said they have encountered issues with their credit report, with incorrect or outdated negative marks leading as the main type of problem, according to a recent FindLaw.com survey.

Overall, 23 percent of Americans said they have had a problem with their credit report, and 10 percent of problems were related to incorrect or outdated information about their credit history, such as delinquency payments, payment history, collection actions, court judgments, and bankruptcies.

At 9 percent, incorrect or outdated personal information, such as one’s address, marital status, and work history, was the second most commonly reported problem.

Other issues Americans reported included identity theft or credit information getting mixed up with someone else’s (5 percent), as well as credit scores that were incorrectly reported as being too low (3 percent).

Another 4 percent said they have been denied credit because of incorrect information on their credit report.

“Your credit report contains a large amount of information drawn from a wide range of sources,” explained Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney and editor with FindLaw.com. “[T]here is always the potential for your credit report to contain inaccurate or outdated information. A credit report can have an enormous influence on a person’s ability to obtain a mortgage, credit card, auto loan or other credit, and can also be used in making hiring decisions.”

Although credit report problems appear to be fairly common, the survey found 68 percent of people who did encounter an issue reported the problem was corrected to their satisfaction, while 18 percent said the problem was not fixed.

For those who had more than one issue, 14 percent said they were able to get at least one issue resolved

“The credit reporting agencies all have detailed procedures for correcting errors. And our survey found that people are generally having success in getting the agencies to correct those errors,” said Rahlfs.

The survey is based on responses gathered in March from over 1,000 participants.

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