Most Common Credit Report Errors

What are the top errors on credit reports? 

The most common credit report errors are accounts that are too old, accounts with the wrong balances, accounts with the wrong payment history, mixed credit files, identity theft accounts, and credit files marked as deceased. 

Almost 25% of Americans have an error on their credit report that is material enough to make you pay higher rates according to government studies.


As a consumer protection attorney and author of Identity Theft: The Steps Before Litigation, I understand that truth about your credit rights is well hidden.


The truth is NOT on the first page of the search results. 


Let's shine some light on the problem.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The biggest errors to find on your credit report
  • Where you can find each error
  • Exactly how to fix each error
  • When can you sue
  • When must you sue

Here's the list of credit report errors

MAJOR TIP: Properly finding and legally disputing errors can result in significant monetary settlements and credit score increases. 

Let's do a quick analysis of each of these errors.

1. Wrong payment history

wrong payment history
wrong payment history

This is when a creditor or collector is saying that you've missed some payments when you didn't miss the payments. It happens a lot, and it can crush your score.


Where can you find wrong payment history information on your credit?


These accounts can either be found in the adverse account section or in the collection accounts.


Types of wrong payment history:

  • Reporting late payments when they were made on time
  • Reporting no payments were no made when they were made
  • Reporting no payments when the creditor was rejecting the payments


What should you do? 

You will need to dispute this information to each of the credit agencies.


What should you do if they refuse to correct?

You have a right to file suit for damages. If you are interested in seeing what your options are, then click here to set up a free consultation.

2. Accounts that you've already paid off, but they are still reporting a balance

paid off accounts

How frustrating this must be! You make every single payment but don't get credit for it?


This happens a lot, and this is obviously when you've paid off an account but for some reason, it's still showing a balance that you owe.


Common types of companies that do this:

  • Credit card companies
  • Banks
  • Auto finance companies
  • Student loans

What should you do? 

You will need to dispute this information to each of the credit agencies.


What should you do if they refuse to correct?

You have a right to file suit for damages. If you are interested in seeing what your options are, then click here to set up a free consultation.

3. Accounts that are older than seven-plus years

Accounts Older Than 7 Years

Seven years is correct if it's a normal account, and ten years if it's like a judgment or a court issue, like bankruptcy. That is improper.


You will want to mail a basic dispute letter explaining the issue and send it to the credit bureaus and the business.


Most common example:

  • A debt collector puts the date they bought the loan as your date of last payment


What should you do? 

You will need to dispute this information to each of the credit agencies.


What should you do if they refuse to correct?

You have a right to file suit for damages. If you are interested in seeing what your options are, then click here to set up a free consultation.

4. Mixed Credit Report

Mixed Credit File

Do you have another person's information on your credit report? Do you feel your credit report got mixed up with someone else's report? That may be true. It is very common.


When a credit agency makes this mistake, it will be almost impossible to fix.


What should you do? 

This is the rare situation where you should reach out to an attorney first. Some of these cases can be worth ten to hundreds of thousands of dollars to you because they are the result of the credit agencies are aware of the issue and refuse to correct the problem.


What should you do?

You have a right to file suit for damages. If you are interested in seeing what your options are, then click here to set up a free consultation.

5. Identity theft

Victims of Identity Theft

Steps to Correct Identity Theft

  1. Get an identity theft report (go to identitytheft.gov)or police report detailing the fraudulent accounts.
  2. Mail to the credit reporting agencies, certified mail return receipt.
  3. Wait for the results.


What should you do? 

You will need to dispute this information to each of the credit agencies. After your dispute including the police report or identity theft affidavit, if the fraud accounts or inquiries still remain, you may have a claim for damages. It is highly unlikely that additional disputes will increase your changes of removal. Litigation will be required.


What should you do if they refuse to correct?

You have a right to file suit for damages. If you are interested in seeing what your options are, then click here to set up a free consultation.

6. Credit reports says you are dead

marked as deceased

What should you do? 

You will need to dispute this information to each of the credit agencies.


What should you do if they refuse to correct?

You have a right to file suit for damages. If you are interested in seeing what your options are, then click here to set up a free consultation.


How To Quickly Pull Your Credit

We recommend going to annualcreditreport.com to get your official (and free) credit reports. Just answer a few questions that only you will know to get access to each report. Alternatively, you can go to creditkarma.com. Never pay for your report.


How To Legally Dispute Credit Errors

  1. Make sure you include your full contact info and addresses for the last 2 years.
  2. Just explain what is wrong on your report.
  3. Explain specifically which account is wrong.  
  4. Include every document that proves you are right and the reporting is wrong.
  5. Always send certified with return receipt so you can prove they received it.


For identity theft victims, do the same as above, but you must include a police report or identity theft affidavit.


Can You Sue the Credit Bureaus or Creditors for False Reporting?


Absolutely.


For mixed file cases, you do not always need to dispute before filing suit.


For others, you should dispute. You can dispute more than once if you'd like through the credit bureaus. If they refused to suppress or delete the information even once, you may have a Fair Credit Reporting Act lawsuit.


If you have any questions about your own individual situation, give us a call. We only charge clients when we get a recovery which means we only charge clients when we are successful in settling the case.

Do You Have One of These Errors?

If you think you have one of the errors detailed above, reach out for a free, confidential consultation with a consumer protection attorney to learn your rights.

Joseph McClelland

Joseph McClelland is a husband and trial lawyer. Graduate of Loyola University New Orleans School of Law. He currently practices Fair Credit Reporting Act, Telephone Consumer Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act litigation. Earned the designation of Advocate by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

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