New report: 20 percent of consumers have mistakes on credit reports

The Federal Trade Commission released a report Monday that found 20 percent of consumers have a mistake on their credit report, and five percent had errors significant enough to affect terms for loans.

That’s no surprise to Keith Caplan. “I found out that somebody in LA opened a credit card in my name,” he said.

Caplan wrote complaints to dispute the error, but said it took several months to correct. “I had to send them the same information several times. It was frustrating,” he said.

Chad Gentry is the executive director of Mpowered, a non-profit credit counseling service in Lakewood. “The accuracy of information is pretty limited right now in my opinion,” Gentry said.

That’s why it’s so important for everyone to check their credit reports from all three credit bureaus each year.

Those are TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. You can get free reports from www.annualcreditreport.com.

If you see a mistake you can dispute it online, or send a written complaint by certified mail.

The FTC report found that four out of five people who filed disputes experienced some sort of change to their report.

A bad credit score can lead to higher interest rates on loans and higher payments, so experts say it’s important to fight any mistakes.