FTC Says 26 Percent of Credit Reports Have Errors

February 11, 2013, Written By John H. Oldshue

A report released today by the Federal Trade Commission underscores the need for Americans to check their credit reports on a regular basis.

The FTC study found that 26 percent of consumers had a material error on at least one of their three credit reports. Of greater alarm was the fact that 5 percent of the consumers in the study had an error that, when corrected, placed them in a different credit risk tier and could result in paying a lower interest rate on their loans.

This was an eight-year study by the FTC which involved 1,001 consumers and reviewed 2,968 credit reports.

“These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers,” said Howard Shelanski, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Economics.  “The results of this first-of-its-kind study make it clear that consumers should check their credit reports regularly. If they don’t, they are potentially putting their pocketbooks at risk.”

The report showed that consumers can get these errors reversed: four in five who filed disputes saw a change in their credit report.

Consumers can receive one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies–Experian, TransUnion and Equifax–every year at AnnualCreditReport.com.

But a recent study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that only less than 20 percent of consumers check their credit report each year.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 11, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of LowCards.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for LowCards.com.
View all posts by John H. Oldshue