According to a 2012 report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as many as one in four Americans have had at least one “potentially significant” error on one or more of their credit reports. In fact, credit report errors are surprisingly common, but the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to dispute and remove these errors to improve your credit profile and score.
Common types of errors on credit reports include:
- Account-related – These include late payments which are older than seven years, an account listed as closed by the provider when it was actually closed by you, and listed credit cards or loan accounts which don’t belong to you.
- Derogatory mark – These include paid-off collection accounts which are still listed as unpaid, paid tax liens which are older than seven years, and accounts which were successfully discharged in bankruptcy but still appear as active with balances.
- Personal information – These include the wrong name being listed, inaccurate employer information, and mailing addresses which you have never used or occupied.
Account-related and derogatory mark errors are more likely to be detrimental to your credit score, while personal information errors are common signs of reporting problems, fraud, or identity theft.