What Errors To Watch for on A Credit Report?

Date: June 15, 2016

Each year, you're entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies. This gives you an opportunity to review your reports and ensure that they're accurate. Errors do happen, so here's an overview of the top mistakes to watch out for. If you do find a mistake, you can have it corrected by following the instructions that come with the credit report.

Inaccurate Personal Information

Something as simple as a spelling mistake can be a disaster for your credit report. Review the information on your report to ensure that your name is spelled correctly, including your middle initial. A mistake in your name could mean that information associated with your credit report may actually belong to someone else. 

Examine the Social Security number on your credit report as well. Take a look at your address and employment information to be certain that everything in your report is accurate.

Closed Accounts That You Didn't Actually Close

Closing credit accounts yourself is one thing, but when a lender closes your account, this can raise red flags to future lenders. Examine any closed accounts on your credit report and look for the words "Closed by Grantor." If you closed the account — not the lender — you'll want to have this corrected as soon as possible. Less common but even more troublesome are accounts that were closed that you thought were still open.

Old Debts Still on the Books

Bad debts can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. They should be removed by the credit reporting agency after that time. If you see bad debts older than seven years, ask to have them removed. 

If you've filed for bankruptcy, all debts included in that bankruptcy should also be removed from your credit report. The bankruptcy itself will appear for seven years, but the debts that were discharged should not.

Duplicate Accounts

Accounts may occasionally be duplicated on your credit report, making it appear as though you have more open credit than you do. This can spell bad nes for your credit score and can get your loan or credit application denied, particularly if the duplicate account is large when compared to your income.

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