Did you know that according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), five percent of consumers had errors on their credit reports? That’s five out of every hundred consumers in the U.S. — meaning that as many as 10 million Americans have incorrect information on their credit report that can adversely affect them in many ways, from higher interest rates to declined loans and more.
Common credit reporting errors include:
- Inaccurate account payment and status — especially payments that are shown as late when they were actually on time
- A credit card that is shown as being cancelled by the lender, when it was really cancelled by you
- A loan modification that shows up as a foreclosure
- Incomplete or incorrect personal information, including an error in a Social Security number, address, or even your name
Checking your credit report annually can allow you to catch and correct these and other mistakes. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you are entitled to get a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. The FTC maintains a website called annualcreditreport.com. This is a federal program and the only site authorized to offer free credit reports. What’s more, you can order a report from each of the three major bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — separately. By staggering your request for credit reports from the different reporting bureaus, you’ll get a better idea of what is being reported during the course of a year.
It is especially important to check your credit report after you file for bankruptcy to ensure that all debts that were included in your filing are correctly reported as discharged. We recommend RD Reports to our clients as a company that provides a hassle free way of doing this with all 3 credit bureaus.
Your credit report will not give you your FICO score, but it allows you to quickly correct any incorrect information — and give you peace of mind, whether you are filing for bankruptcy or not.