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Are Credit Report Errors Holding You Back?

I’m in the process of getting a refinance. As part of the good times, my credit report was pulled. One of the ongoing frustrations with my credit report is all the double-reported loans.

This was a problem when we applied for our mortgage seven years ago, and it is apparently still an issue. In fact, my mortgage is on there twice. Same numbers, everything. And many of our student loans, which have all been consolidated, are still being reported as active.

As you might imagine, it looks like we have more debt than we actually do. According to the credit report, my husband and I have a combined $200,000 in student loans, when the number is actually less than half that. And it looks like we have two homes, when we only have one.

The words, “Our concern is that you have more than $4,000 a month in debt payments” passed my loan officer’s lips at one point. That’s when I realized that there was a problem. “That’s not right,” I said.

After my protest, my loan officer was good enough to look through the report and notice these things, and we were able to flag the duplicates before the loan package went to underwriting. So we ended up getting approved, and at the best rate. Now we just have to wait for the loan to go through the whole process.

Could Credit Report Errors Cause You Financial Trouble?

Estimates are that as many as 40 million credit reports have errors. Not all of these errors are big enough to cause you problems like higher insurance premiums or get a loan denied. But for some consumers, that’s a real possibility. For me, all those dupes could have scuttled a refinance hope I’ve had for years.

One thing you need to do is check AnnualCreditReport.com for your free credit report each year from each of the three major bureaus. Then, go through your reports and look for inaccuracies. If you find inaccuracies, you will want to dispute them.

Here’s where it can get frustrating, though. Even though there is a process you can follow to dispute your credit report, it can be time consuming, and you often have to stay on top of the proceedings to make sure that everything goes through as it should. And, sometimes, even after you have successfully disputed an item and had it removed from your report, it might crop up again years later.

It’s also important to realize that you will have to go through the process with each of the three major bureaus. You might not have the same mistakes in each credit report, and fixing an error on one report doesn’t guarantee that it will be fixed on all of them.

Check your credit report, and note errors. Then begin the dispute process. I know that I have my work cut out for me with all the duplicate loans. But I need to get it taken care of.

For more information, you watch this video below, from CBS News and 60 Minutes.

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