Basics

What to look for in your credit reports

When reviewing your credit report, check that it contains only items about you. Be sure to look for information that is inaccurate or incomplete.

Some common errors in credit reports are:

Identity errors

  • Errors made to your identity information (wrong name, phone number, address)
  • Accounts belonging to another person with the same or a similar name as yours (this mixing of two consumers information in a single file is called a mixed file)
  • Incorrect accounts resulting from identity theft

Incorrect reporting of account status

  • Closed accounts reported as open
  • You are reported as the owner of the account, when you are actually just an authorized user
  • Accounts that are incorrectly reported as late or delinquent
  • Incorrect date of last payment, date opened, or date of first delinquency
  • Same debt listed more than once (possibly with different names)

Data management errors

  • Reinsertion of incorrect information after it was corrected
  • Accounts that appear multiple times with different creditors listed (especially in the case of delinquent accounts or accounts in collections)

Balance Errors

  • Accounts with an incorrect current balance
  • Accounts with an incorrect credit limit

If you find errors, you should contact the credit reporting company who sent you the report, and the creditor or company that provided the information (called the furnisher of the information). Your credit report includes directions about how to dispute inaccurate or incomplete information or use our sample dispute letters.

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