We have already used this space to share why and how checking reports helps Americans when it comes to identity theft. Of course, the key to education is repetition; for emphasis, we need to check our credit reports to detect unauthorized accounts. Beyond that, inaccuracies can lead to all kinds of problems getting access to financing; not to mention having to pay more for financing. Nobody wants to or should have to do that.
Here are more good reasons to check your credit report regularly:
A Federal Trade Commission study of the U.S. credit reporting industry found that 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.
Overall, the congressionally mandated study on credit report accuracy found that one in five consumers had an error on at least one of their three credit reports.
“These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers,” said Howard Shelanski, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics. “The results of this first-of-its-kind study make it clear that consumers should check their credit reports regularly. If they don’t, they are potentially putting their pocketbooks at risk.”
The study, in which participants were encouraged to use the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) process to resolve any potential credit report errors, also 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.
According to Charles Harwood of the FTC, “Your credit report has information about your finances and your bill-paying history, so it’s important to make sure it’s accurate.
Remember, credit reports are free through annualcreditreport.com; if you find an error you need to work with the credit reporting company to fix it.
For more on identity theft protection visit www.hvshred.com