By Justin Udo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new Federal Trade Commission report says credit report errors affect 1 in 20 consumers, and these errors are more significant than you might expect.
The report says millions of people covered by the U-S credit reporting industry have at least one error on one of their credit reports.
Bob Shashinky is the assistant director in the division of privacy and identity protection at the Federal Trade Commission. He says one small error can go a long way.
“It moved the consumers’ credit score by at least 25 points, which is pretty significant,” Shashinsky said. “So the errors could have an effect on your ability to get credit and also how much you pay for credit, because you may get a worse rate based on a worse credit rating.”
Shashinsky offers some tips for what you need to after you find a problem with your report.
“What you need to do is dispute any mistakes you have on your credit report, first with the credit reporting agency that is reporting that mistake,” he says. “The second place you want to go is to the company or creditor that is reporting the inaccurate information. You want to go directly to that company as well and have them fix whatever records they are reporting to the credit reporting agency.”
So how can you better monitor your credit report?
“What some consumers do is stagger their request to the major consumer reporting agencies,” Shashinsky says. “So you may ask for one of the credit agency’s report in February, another one in June and another one in October, so you make sure your getting all the information as it comes up over the course of the year.”