A study by the Federal Trade Commission in early 2013 revealed that 25% of consumers had errors on their credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus. These mistakes could lead to higher interest rates on credit cards and loans, which ultimately costs consumers more money every month that they maintain a balance on those loans. Many consumers find themselves struggling to begin with. Credit report errors are costing money that they don’t have.
Details on the FTC Study on Credit Report Errors
The FTC study involved the analysis of approximately 3,000 consumer credit reports. Participants were encouraged to use the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) process to address any errors uncovered. Here are some of the findings:
- 25% identified errors that could affect credit scores.
- 20% had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after it was disputed.
- 60% of those who filed disputes received a modification in their credit report.
- 10% saw improvement in their score after a CRA assisted with correcting errors.
- 5% benefited from a change of up to 25 points in their credit score; <1% received an increase of more than 100 points in their score.
What You Should Learn from This Study
This study makes it clear that consumers should check their credit scores regularly for errors. Errors result in higher cost and possibly fewer opportunities for consumers, so they should be addressed. Any corrections will likely result in an improved credit score. Consumers can use the provisions outlined in the FCRA for the dispute process. Assistance is available from credit repair agencies such as FIT Credit.