FTC: 40 million Americans could have mistake on credit report

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

(WEAU) -- "It's something I like to keep track of regularly, so I can know what's going to happen if I do apply for a loan," said Dawn Michaud Kauffman.

She just got her first accounting job. She deals with numbers day in and day out. But in her own life, there are three numbers she keeps a close eye on.

"If I need to get a private school loan, any bad mark on my credit report could cause issues with getting to where I want to be in the future," she added.

She bought a car six months ago and discovered some small errors on her credit report. On Monday, she learned 40 million Americans also may have errors on their own reports.

"That's really kind of offensive to the general population, to the reliability of what credit reports are all about," she said.

Three companies dominate the credit reporting industry: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian.

In a statement, an Experian spokesman said "the vast majority of disputes are resolved in 14 days or less."

"Some rate of error is to be expected and what is important to focus on is when an error is identified whether or not it is fixed," said Beth Freeborn with the Federal Trade Commission.

The latest study by the FTC found agencies modified disputed errors 90% of the time. But getting things fixed takes persistence.

"You've got to insist, you've got to commit. Maybe you're going to have to write the letters again," said Mattias Kraemer, a Financial Capability Coordinator.

Even though Dawn's errors were not big enough to stop him from getting a car, she says now she has to take time to track down the mistake and get it fixed.

"If you can't rely on the credit report for being honest and truthful, that could cause some real issues," she added.

Click here to visit Experian's website.

Click here to visit Transunion's website.

Click here to visit Equifax's website.

Click here to visit Annual Credit Report.

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