Study Finds One in Three Consumers Found Errors in Credit Report

Jun 18, 2021Financial Literacy, News

According to a recent study checking consumer credit reports for accuracy conducted by Consumer Reports, 34 percent of the nearly 6,000 Americans who volunteered to be part of the study found errors in their credit reports.

The mistakes that were made the most frequently (affecting 29 percent of consumers reporting errors) involved erroneous personal information, like misspelled names and incorrect addresses.

The consumer advocacy group said in a report covering the study that 11 percent of the participants found accounts they did not recognize, payments that were incorrectly flagged as late, and other inaccurate information related to their debts. Of these debt-related errors, 41 percent were unrecognized accounts, 26 percent were unrecognized debt that had been reported to collections, 23 percent were on-time payments erroneously reported as late, and 12 percent were payments wrongly reported as missed. 10 percent of consumers said it was either “difficult” or “very difficult” to access their credit reports.

“Mistakes in credit reports are more than just a frustrating hassle for consumers,” said Syed Ejaz, a policy analyst for Consumer Reports. “Credit report errors can lower your credit score and lead to higher interest rates on loans or even prevent you from getting a job or apartment.”

In response, Francis Creighton, president of the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade group for the credit reporting industry, said the research was “hastily compiled” and not done in an empirical manner, according to American Banker.

The report was based on more than 5,800 voluntary responses to an online survey conducted between February 1 and April 2, 2021.

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