How often do you check your credit report for accuracy? If it's not at least twice a year, you could be one of the 40 million Americans that have material errors on your credit report. There are some warning signs you might experience without checking your credit score that might tell you that you have errors.
Errors with your identity details
Occasionally one or all of the three major credit bureaus will have incorrect identifying information on your credit reports. It could be as something as simple as an incorrect address. That's a relatively simple error that won't be difficult to fix on your own. However, sometimes your name could be associated with someone else's credit profile. Make sure when you check your credit report you go through it with a fine tooth comb to ensure everything on it is accurate and all accounts belong to you.
Incorrect or misleading account details
From time to time a creditor will provide incorrect or misleading information about your credit accounts to the credit bureaus. But more seriously, they could be reporting an incorrect credit limit which would affect your utilization rate or the wrong dates for your mortgage loan. Sometimes something could claim open when it's closed or that you've missed payments when you haven't.
If there are items on your credit report that don't belong to you, you might be a victim of identity theft. In 2015, an estimated 17.6 million American's were victims of identity theft. Did you know that two-thirds of identity theft victims reported a direct financial loss? The Bureau of Justice recommends taking preventative action like checking your credit report regularly for accuracy. While some people were able to recover funds through their banks or credit card companies, other saw much more serious events like stolen social security numbers and new accounts opened under their names.
What do you do if you spot errors?
My best advice to you is to work with a credit repair agency. The hassle of getting your details updated or more serious, getting incorrect, misleading or unverifiable information off your credit report can be a total headache.
Catalog the errors well and then bring them to the agencies attention. The more prepared you are the better a credit repair agency can help. Getting mistakes removed is a difficult process but thankfully credit repair agencies can do most of the heavy lifting for you.