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May 12, 2022 Credit Reports

3 Most Common Credit Report Errors

You may be surprised at how often credit reports contain errors. Your credit report can have a significant impact on your life. Mistakes on your credit report can prevent you from getting a mortgage, a car loan, a credit card, or financial assistance when you need it. Some types of credit report errors are seen more frequently than others.

If you have a better understanding of what these common credit report mistakes are, you will have a better idea of what to look for when you are reviewing your own credit report for inconsistencies and mistakes. Here are three of the most common types of credit report errors and the steps you should take to address them.

1. Incorrect Accounts 

One of the top mistakes seen on credit reports is incorrect accounts. When you review your credit report, it is important to take a look at the number of accounts the report shows you have opened. If you notice that a loan has been taken out in your name or a retail line of credit has been opened without your consent, it could be a sign that you have been a victim of identity theft.

Alternatively, it could mean that the credit bureaus have mistakenly mixed up your information (and your accounts) with someone else’s.  This could be the result of you having a similar Social Security number, name, or date of birth to the other person. Or, it could be the result of a data-entry error. No matter the cause, it’s important to fix errors on your credit report. 

Common warning signs that someone else’s information may be showing on your report (or that you are a victim of identity theft) are the presence of an incorrect name, address, SSN, or other personal information on your credit report. When this happens, it could have a devastating impact on your credit score and even your credit utilization ratio

Unfamiliar accounts could be an indication that you have been a victim of identity theft. If this happens, it is essential to reach out to an identity theft lawyer as soon as possible for help filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a report with the police.

2. Account Reporting Mistakes 

Another common credit report bureau mistake is account reporting errors. Some of the most common types of account reporting errors that our firm has helped resolve include:

  • Inaccurate missed payment dates
  • Incorrect dates of late payments
  • Inaccurate balances on the account
  • Inaccurate dates the account was opened or closed
  • Consumers being listed as primary account holders as opposed to authorized users
  • Incorrect credit limits
  • Discharged debts appearing on the report
  • Erroneous bankruptcy filings
  • Accounts that have been delinquent for seven years or longer
  • Accounts that have been closed but aren’t reported as such

In the worst conditions, credit report errors like these could result in you being denied credit, including for a mortgage or a credit card. These errors could also have a significant impact on your credit score. For this reason, it is essential that you get help clearing up any credit report mistakes so you can protect your financial future.

3. Inaccurate Personal Information 

Credit reporting agencies will often make mistakes when documenting consumers’ personal information. Although clerical mistakes like these may be seemingly innocuous, such an error can have a serious impact on your life. 

For example, if you were mistaken for someone who was convicted of a violent felony, this could have a dramatic impact on your life when you apply for a job or otherwise need to pass a background check or credit check. Some of the more common personal information or identity mistakes found on credit reports include:

  • Incorrect addresses
  • Incorrect names
  • The wrong middle initial or middle name
  • Incorrect spelling of your name
  • Incorrect phone number
  • Mistakenly reporting you as deceased
  • Mistakenly reporting you as being on the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Compliance List of Specially Designated Nationals, referred to as the terrorist watch list, the OFAC List, or the OFAC/SDN List. 

You can take steps to ensure your personal information is accurate and valid by reporting basic personal facts to the credit reporting bureaus. This might include your full name, your phone number, your address, a new last name, copies of your divorce decree, and other documentation that can show that joint accounts may have been closed with an ex-spouse.

What to Do When You Discover a Credit Report Error

Credit reports and scores can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life. When you are counting on opening up a new line of credit, being approved for a mortgage or auto loan, or otherwise entering a financial partnership that could change your life, inaccuracies in your credit report could cost you. 

For this reason, it is essential that you take steps to address these mistakes so that you can ensure your credit report accurately reflects your creditworthiness. 

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), credit reporting agencies have an obligation to correct inaccurate information on your credit report. When they fail to do so, they could be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. 

Once you discover credit report errors, it is important to take steps to address them. Here’s where you can start:

  • Talk with a lawyer who can help you reach out to the credit reporting agencies to inform them of the mistakes on your credit report
  • Request free copies of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus, including TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, which you can obtain at  
  • Go through your credit report in detail to discover and document errors on your credit report
  • Keep copies of your original credit report and send copies to creditors and lenders
  • Credit reporting agencies must respond to your dispute within 30 days, so you can follow up and determine what action they have taken to correct the mistakes on your credit report

Our credit reporting lawyers are also intimately familiar with the FCRA and any related violations. If a credit reporting agency violated the FCRA, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Many clients don’t realize how valuable their claims are. Berger Montague has settled numerous cases involving errors on people’s credit reports for more than $100,000.

Should You Contact the Creditor?

Many people assume that reaching out to the creditor or lender in question to discuss inaccurate information is the right way to fix the mistake. However, since the credit reporting agencies are responsible for maintaining your credit report, it is through these bureaus that you must address your concerns. 

The credit report lawyers at Berger Montague understand how credit bureaus work to fix inaccurate information and fight back against frivolous disputes. We will ensure your dispute is taken seriously so that you can fix your credit report and begin to improve your credit rating. 

Don’t attempt to handle your case alone. And don’t make the mistake of assuming that your situation isn’t extreme enough to warrant hiring a lawyer. Getting a lawyer involved early often results in getting the report fixed faster, not to mention the prospect of money damages.

Common Credit Report Errors FAQs

What are common credit report errors?

Common errors include incorrect accounts, inaccurate account reporting, inaccurately  being reported as dead or deceased, and inaccurate personal information.

How can incorrect accounts appear on my credit report?

Incorrect accounts, or accounts that do not belong to you, can show up on your credit report as a result of identity theft or when consumer reporting agencies fail to use maximum possible accuracy, such as mixing up your information with someone else’s because you have a similar name.

What types of account reporting mistakes are common?

Common errors include accounts that do not belong to you, incorrect balances, incorrect missed payments, inaccurately reporting you as deceased or dead, and erroneous bankruptcy filings.

How can inaccurate information on a credit report affect me?

Lenders and other creditors use your credit report to help evaluate your financial condition before they give you a loan, mortgage, credit card, or other type of credit. Errors like incorrect payment information, a message stating that you are deceased, inaccurate accounts in default, or loans that do not belong to you can impact your credit score or prevent you from getting a credit score at all. Inaccurate information can negatively affect the interest rates you pay or cause the lender to reject your credit application.

What should I do if I find an error in my credit report?

If the inaccurate information has caused you to be rejected for credit, negatively impacted the terms a lender was willing to offer you, or delayed a transaction such as a home or car purchase, consider consulting a lawyer for assistance. You can schedule a free consultation with Berger Montague using the form on this page. 

If the inaccurate information is something like an inaccurate address, you should review all the information in your credit report to ensure that you have not been a victim of identity theft. If you have been a victim of identity theft, you should contact a credit report lawyer.

If the incorrect information is something small and you have not been a victim of identity theft, you can dispute the information with the credit reporting bureau to have it fixed.

How can I get a copy of my credit report?

You can request a free copy of your credit report from the lender who obtained the report on you. You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report, that will not impact your credit score, at

How can I correct an error in my credit report?

If the error is impacting your ability to obtain credit, you should contact an experienced lawyer to help you correct the errors in your report. You should note all the inaccurate information you see in the report. Small errors can be addressed directly with the credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax, or Transunion, preferable by mail and not online.

What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?

The FCRA mandates that credit reporting agencies use maximum possible accuracy when compiling credit reports and correct inaccurate information on your credit report. If a company violates your rights under the FCRA, you may be entitled to compensatory damages for financial losses and emotional distress. You may also receive punitive damages and have your attorneys’ fees paid for. 

Can I receive compensation for credit report errors?

If a credit reporting agency violates the FCRA, you may be entitled to compensation for financial losses and emotional distress. You may also receive punitive damages and have your attorneys’ fees paid for.

How can a credit report lawyer help?

A lawyer can ensure your rights are protected if inaccurate information has destroyed your credit dispute and make sure that, if you dispute incorrect information, your dispute is taken seriously. If you file a lawsuit, a credit report lawyer may be able to help you secure monetary damages.

Get Help From a Credit Report Lawyer Today 

Ensuring that your credit report and score accurately reflect your creditworthiness is essential if you hope to protect your financial future. If there are mistakes on your credit report and you do not know where to turn for help, reach out to an experienced credit report lawyer at Berger Montague

We work on a contingency fee basis where we only take a portion of your settlement or court award as payment. You pay us nothing up front to represent you, and you pay nothing at the end if we lose your case. Should your case go to trial and we win, you will not be responsible for attorney fees and litigation costs, as the other party will cover these per the FCRA statute.

When you are ready to bring reckless credit reporting bureaus to justice, fill out our online contact form or give our office a call for a no-cost, risk-free consultation.