Ed's Blog

Tips for fixing credit report errors yourself (don't ever use a credit repair doctor)

By Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Fox Business reporter Kelly Dilworth has a detailed "how-to" called "Ten surefire steps to get errors off your credit reports."

Don't go to a credit repair doctor, don't read a bunch of wacky advice on self-help websites, just do what she says instead. Her article is full of important tips to fight through the Kafka-esque credit reporting dispute process.

If you do otherwise, the credit bureaus -- you might as well call the original Keystone Kops -- will have you running in circles while, as they like to say,  "the item remains, confirmed by source." They don't care that it's wrong; so long as the (creditor) source's computer told them it wasn't, even if no actual people investigated at either end, and the only communication was an electronic ping between two non-thinking machines. Meanwhile you could be denied credit or a job, because the error lowered your credit score.

If you want more information on credit bureau errors and why they are so difficult to correct, check out the 2009 report "Automated Injustice," by the consumer lawyers at the National Consumer Law Center. Our 2004 PIRG report, "Mistakes Do Happen," documented that one-in-four credit reports contain errors serious enough to cause you be denied credit, insurance or a job, or pay more than you should.

So read Kelly's article "Ten surefire steps to get errors off your credit reports." And clip it and tweet it and pass it on. And check your free credit reports from eah of the Big Three bureaus provided by law regularly-- it's cheaper and better than signing up for an over-priced and deceptively advertised credit monitoring service as the credit bureaus would prefer you to do.

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