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Common Errors in Credit Reports

Errors can occur in any section of your credit reports.  This is a list of some common errors to watch out for.

Errors Made in the Personal Information Section

  • Wrong name or misspelled name
  • Wrong phone number, current address, or previous addresses
  • Errors in the Social Security number—reporting the wrong Social Security number

Errors in the Judgments Section

  • Civil judgments that do not belong to you are reported
  • Civil judgments are reported beyond the time allowed by the FCRA:
    • 7 years from the filing date for civil judgments
    • 7 years from the date paid for tax liens; indefinitely for unpaid tax liens, although Experian reports these for 15 years
    • 10 years from the filing date for Chapter 7 bankruptcy
    • 7 years from the filing date for Chapter 10 bankruptcy
    • 7 years for most other negative items except when someone is applying for: a job with an annual salary of more than $75,000; $150,000 or more of insurance coverage;  or $150,000 or more in credit

Errors in the Collection Account Information Section

Accounts that you have paid off are reported as in collections

Accounts that should no longer be reported because they are beyond the time allowed by the FCRA are reported

  • Balances are reported as higher than what you owe
  • Credit limits are inaccurately reported
  • Closed accounts are reported as open
  • On time payments are reported as late
  • Errors in date the account was opened or date of first delinquency
  • Owner status is incorrect—you are not listed on an account you own or jointly own with someone or you are listed as an owner when you are an authorized user
  • Mixing Files
  • Accounts belonging to someone else with the same or similar name as yours

Identity Theft

  • Accounts that do not belong to you, but were opened using your identity—this could include a mortgage, student loan, medical bills, utilities, credit cards, and more
  • Anything in the collections section that does not belong to you because the account was opened using your identity and then not paid
  • Any civil judgment that does not belong to you because someone used your identity

Additional Reporting Errors

  • Reporting information that was removed following a dispute
  • Accounts that appear multiple times with different creditors listed (especially in the case of delinquent accounts or accounts in collections)