How Does a Mistake on My Credit Report Hurt Me?

Many consumers have questions about the information being reported by credit bureaus. One of the most common questions we hear is “How does a mistake on my credit report hurt me?” You might think that having a mistake on a credit report isn’t likely to happen to you, but surprisingly as many as two out of every three people who review what’s on their credit reports find a mistake. Some reporting errors are minor, such as misspelling your name, but others can be more serious. Misinformation can bring down your credit score or make it hard for you to be approved for credit.

Types of Mistakes on Credit Reports

There are many different types of errors that may show up on your credit report and affect your credit. Some examples include:

  • Personal information – You may find errors in your name, address, or social security number.
  • Payment history – If your creditor misapplied a payment that you made, they may report that your account was past due even though you made your payment.
  • Account status – You may find accounts showing as open that have been closed or accounts showing as closed that are still open.
  • Removal of old negative items – Negative items such as collections accounts and charge-offs remain on your credit report for seven years. If more than seven years have passed, make sure these negative items are removed.
  • Fraudulent accounts – If you find accounts on your credit report that don’t belong to you, it could be caused by an error, or it could mean someone has stolen your identity and is using it to open fraudulent accounts. This needs to be addressed immediately.

Other errors you may find include incorrect balances or duplicate items. If you’ve recently gotten a divorce, you may find accounts that pertain to your ex-spouse. Any errors you find on your credit report should be disputed right away to reverse any damage that’s been done by this misinformation.

The Impact of Mistakes on a Credit Report

Wrong information on your credit report can quickly bring your credit score down. You may find it hard to get approved for a loan or a credit card, or you might not be able to get the best terms or interest rates.

Even if you’re not trying to borrow money, misinformation on your credit report can still hurt you. Many potential employers pull a credit report as part of the job screening process. Potential landlords, insurance companies, and utility companies may also base decisions on your credit report.

Fixing Errors on Your Credit Report

If you find any errors on your credit report, contact the credit bureau that’s reporting the wrong information and file a dispute. For help with straightening out mistakes on your credit report, consider working with Dovly. We’re an AI credit engine that can help you track, manage and fix your credit. As we get mistakes removed from your credit report, you can sit back and watch your credit score go up. Try it risk-free with our free membership tier.

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