Consumers have few recourses for credit report errors

A recent editorial in USA Today is calling for a revamped error-reporting system for the three major credit bureaus, which consumer advocates say is woefully lacking.

Credit is one of the most important measures of financial health nowadays, as it can affect everything from car loans to a job search. However, consumers who find an error on their credit report often don’t have many resources when they try to get it fixed.

The news source profiled the case of Carmen Dixon-Rollins, a Philadelphia police officer who had a dispute with her landlord over $530. Dixon-Rollins paid the debt and the dispute was over. Yet the mark still showed up on her credit report months later.

Dixon-Rollins filed an error report, but ran into the same problem many do: the credit bureaus simply forward the info onto the collection agency, taking no steps to investigate themselves. If the collection agency claims the debt is still owed, there’s nothing a consumer can do.

Credit bureaus claim that just half of one percent have errors on their credit reports that push them into a lower tier of score and affect their rates. That sounds small, but that means more than 1 million people are being unfairly duped by their report – many of whom don’t even know it.

Drivers should take care to ensure their report is in order before applying for a bad credit car loan, as it can affect their interest rates.