The Federal Trade Commission published its fifth annual report to Congress regarding credit report accuracy. According to the FTC press release, “five percent of consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports that could lead to them paying more for products such as auto loans and insurance.” Moreover, 20 percent of consumers had some kind of error on their credit reports.
Specifically, the FTC found that:
“* One in four consumers identified errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores;
* One in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after it was disputed, on at least one of their three credit reports;
* Four out of five consumers who filed disputes experienced some modification to their credit report;
* Slightly more than one in 10 consumers saw a change in their credit score after the CRAs modified errors on their credit report; and
* Approximately one in 20 consumers had a maximum score change of more than 25 points and only one in 250 consumers had a maximum score change of more than 100 points.”
Financial experts advise consumers to check their credit reports annually. The law mandates that each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) provide you with a free credit report once a year. It’s often suggested that consumers access one credit bureau report every four months in order to keep better tabs on their credit year-round.