According to a study done by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) your credit reports has errors. These findings were announced today by the NCLC (National consumer Law Centers) and U.S. PIRG (US Public Interest Research Group) and confirm their own findings based on a previous study.
The study was released on a 60 minute expose on the Credit Reporting Agencies. The study found the following facts:
21% of Consumers have Verified Errors
13% had Errors that Effect there Credit Report
5% had errors that were serious enough to cause denied credit or pay a higher interest rate
Ed Mierzwinski US PIRG Consumer Program Director said that these finding were no surprise. Ed also stated “We’ve criticized the credit reporting industry for decades over unacceptable levels of seriously damaging mistakes, many of which are entirely preventable.”
Mierzwinski noted that the FTC study found that the percentage of serious errors was about 10 times the percentage reported by a May 2011 industry-funded study, which had claimed that only 0.51% of credit reports had errors serious enough to cause the consumer to be denied or pay more for credit.
These findings were said to be “pretty troubling information” and that the error rates were “pretty high.” according to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
Well apparently not much has changed in the last decade. Here is a C-SPAN video that was released in 2002 that outlines similar issues in a consumer groups report titled “Consumers and Credit Reports.”
Mr. Mierzwinski concluded that “Consumers need to be protected in the entire financial marketplace, at banks and non-banks, including credit bureaus, who have acted as reckless gatekeepers to financial and employment opportunity for too long.”
Howard Shelanski, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics stated that “These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers,” “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.”
So what can you do to prevent these errors? Unfortunately there is no preventable measure to prevent errors from happening. Your best defense against the credit reporting agencies is taking a proactive approach by reviewing your credit report on quarterly bases for errors.
To review your credit reports go to AnnualCreditReport.com. This website was set up by the 3 credit reporting agencies in order to be in compliance with FACTA allowing consumers access to 3 free credit reports per year.