Study: 1 in 4 Consumers Had Error in Credit Report
Take a good look at your credit report. There could be a mistake in it that could cost you money or even keep you from getting a mortgage or a car loan. A "60 Minutes" investigation last night revealed that mistakes on your credit report can be nearly impossible to remove.
Steve Kroft's story Sunday night revealed that out of 8 million disputes filed each year, very few are resolved. That is not news to many in Reno, including Dee Schafer. Sitting at her desk at home with a stack of papers in front of her, she told us her experience correcting her credit report "Was quite frankly, a nightmare and very frustrating."
It all started with a mistake on her credit card. Dee says the credit card company told her, "We're so sorry, we'll take that off. But it shows up on your credit report from Experian and we cannot remove it from that credit report, you need to contact them."
And she did, over, and over again. She spoke with 5 Experian employees, and wrote several emails. No one ever called her back. For her it was a real problem: "I have to have great credit, to do what I need to do to get loans."
A new FTC report out today says up to 42 million Americans have problems with their credit bureau ratings, that there's a mistake in them. These are reports that you and I depend on for jobs and loans. At the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northern Nevada, lead counselor Arminda Jimenez told us the problem…"There's just so many people, and so many just fall through the cracks."
Arminda works with Reno credit holders trying to fix their problems. As she told us, "I get a lot of people that come in and say, 'I have information on there that doesn't belong to me.'" Even her own credit report had a mistake. "I had a Capitol One account on my credit report. And I never had a Capitol One card."
The top 3 credit reporting bureaus are Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Federal law says that if you find a mistake, you can ask the credit reporting agencies to fix it. But Jimenez says "It's very hard. And the federal government, I don't think, makes it a priority to make sure things are done correctly with the credit reporting bureaus."
Dee's report was finally fixed, but it took a lot of time. She called the process "horrendous." Her advice: check your credit rating. "I think most people don't do that until they need a loan or they buy a house, and they're shocked when they find a mistake and it takes way too long to take care of it." Arminda recommends checking your credit rating at least once a year.
You can get a free credit report once every 12 months by going to this website…just click the link: