The most common issues identified by consumers are problems with incorrect information on their credit reports.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reports that 76 percent of consumers who filed complaints about credit reporting stated that they had incorrect information on their credit reports. The CFPB has handled approximately 185,700 credit reporting complaints since July 21, 2011, making credit reporting the third most-complained-about product. This is important to you because it means that there is a very good change your credit reports have inaccurate information on them. Inaccurate information can lead to increased interest rates, prevent you from getting a mortgage or buying a car, landing a job, or getting a security clearance.
Consumers frequently complain about the processes for disputing information on their reports with consumer reporting companies. Many complaints indicate that consumers experience difficulties when submitting disputes through the phone and mail channels. Consumers sometimes report barriers to submission of disputes (e.g., authentication questions or customer service representatives that encourage consumers to contact the data furnisher first). After submitting disputes, some consumers claimed not to have received the results of their investigations or to have only received them after a lengthy delay.
Figure 2, from the report, shows the types of credit reporting complaints consumers submitted as a percentage of all credit reporting complaints handled. The most common issues identified by consumers are problems with incorrect information on credit report and credit reporting company’s investigation.
Obtaining your credit report is the first step in disputing any inaccurate or wrong information which may appear on it. Federal law requires the three national credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union, to provide you with a free credit report every year. Most likely, each of these credit reporting agencies has a credit file on you. Get all three of your credit reports.
You can get your free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the only official site to help consumers obtain their free credit report. You may contact the credit reporting agencies directly, but consumer beware! These credit reporting agencies own businesses which easily trick the consumer into buying their credit scores rather than providing the consumer with their actual free credit report. For step-by-step instructions on how to dispute errors on your credit report, click here.