Dealing with credit report errors? Here are some tips to fix the issue right away

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
How to navigate credit report errors
Dealing with credit report errors? Here are some tips to fix the issue right away

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Imagine being turned down for a loan or paying higher interest rates due to errors on your credit report.

It happens more often than you might think.

But Consumer Reports has good news. You can check the accuracy of your credit report for free and more frequently than many people realize.

Back when Nestor Varga was in college, he got an unwelcome surprise while trying to buy a car.

"I went to go apply for a loan, a car loan, and I was denied because they found an unpaid bill," said Vargas, a certified financial planner at

But Vargas knew he'd never missed a payment.

"I was shocked. I went to the credit report bureaus and I put in a claim knowing that it was inaccurate," he said.

Credit report errors are the top consumer issue filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And the problem is getting worse, with complaints more than doubling in just two years. Common errors include inaccurate personal information, duplicate accounts, closed accounts reported as open and paid-off debt appearing as unpaid.

"A credit report is like an x-ray into a person's finances. Having incorrect information on that report can stop a person from getting credit or a loan, renting an apartment, getting a good rate on your insurance, or even getting a job," said Lisa Gill, investigative reporter for Consumer Reports.

Now you can get your credit report for free, every week, from each of the major bureaus at

If you do end up finding an error, fix it right away.

"You'll want to file a dispute with each of the three credit bureaus Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Include all the evidence you have, like account statements and payment records. Create a paper trail by writing a detailed letter of explanation, and send all of these via certified mail and keep copies for yourself."

Vargas, now a financial planner, reminds you to check your credit report often and regularly.

"Put it on your phone to remind yourself. Just like you go for a checkup to your doctor, you have to check your credit," said Vargas.

If there's a legitimate issue on your credit report that doesn't look good, CR says that adding a note to your file can provide context for future lenders, employers, or landlords, potentially improving their perception of your financial situation.