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Credit Report Mistakes Costing Consumers

By Faye Mergel
Published: Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Consumers know how important a credit score is, that is why they work so hard to have a good one. But companies compiling credit reports for consumers make mistakes at times. This does not only drastically hurt the ratings of consumers, it also costs them a lot of money.

Credit Report Mistakes Costing ConsumersNBC, the giant television company, discovered that credit reports are not always free from errors, and consumers are paying for it dearly.

Sylmar, CA resident Nicole Martinez says she never missed on any payment—car loans, utility, credit card, or mortgage. That is how she was able to raise her score to 800. Because of it, she got the privilege of holding a platinum credit card. Then suddenly, she received a letter from Bank of America last month informing her that they are cutting down her $22,500 credit limit to $700 because they found out in her credit report that she had several delinquencies with other lenders.

She was shocked, and immediately pulled out her credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Reports from the first two bureaus showed no negative items, but the third one has a long list of overdue payments and delinquent loans. She also discovered many names and addresses not belong to her and about thirty accounts she did not open.

Apparently, TransUnion combined her credit history with another person named Nicole living in the same city. But Martinez says she had a very tough time making TransUnion fix the mistake. She went from one supervisor to another and to no avail. She was later told that the only thing she could do was to open an investigation which could take 30 to 60 days.

Many other consumers across the coast share Nicole’s problem. She says not only did her credit limit go down to $700, her rating also plummeted by 290 points. Fortunately, her problem was fixed after she was helped by the television company. TransUnion then told the public that the error was accidental and such situation is rare. They also assure consumers that they are doing their best to correct any error once they find out about it.

Still, Nicole advises consumers not to take chances. She says consumers should review their credit report for errors, at least once a year. She notes that checking a report could cost them a few dollars, but the benefits greatly outweighs it costs.

Finance advisers say consumers should be more aware of their financial status this holiday season since it is when shopping activities are at their highest.

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