ATLANTA - So much of your financial life depends on your credit rating - jobs, rental property, and loans. If the information is not accurate, it can cost you money.
Consumer Reports has released news that it says reveals, "a high rate of errors" in credit reporting.
The consumer advocates asked close to 6,000 volunteers to check for mistakes. This is what they found: 34 percent found at least one mistake; 29 percent found issues with their personal information; and, 10 percent, found it difficult or very difficult to get a credit report.
The three big credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. An industry trade group, Consumer Data Industry Association, pushed back. The president and CEO of CDIA said the approach of the survey incentivized only some respondents to participate.
"Accuracy is the bedrock of the credit reporting industry. That's reflected in our industry's very, very high accuracy rate," Frances Creighton of CDIA told the Fox 5 I-Team. "Look, if we had the amount of errors that these people allege, the entire financial system would collapse. It's just not true."
Do your own homework. Check your credit score and history regularly.
1. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to fill out paper work.
2. Call their toll-free number: 1-877-322-8228
3. Read up on the rules laid out by the FTC: Your Rights to Credit Reporting Access
We should add that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that its data shows that complaints about credit reporting issues doubled from 2019 to 2020. But, we have also been in a pandemic, so consider that, too.
The key here is to keep an eye on your information yourself. Look for potential errors. The credit agencies want those corrected. They are only as good as their numbers. And, keep an eye out for identity theft by looking for accounts that you didn’t apply for.