Post Content

Earlier this week, various news outlets reported that an Oregon woman who discovered huge errors in her Equifax credit report was awarded over $18 million in damages after disputing the errors eight times over two years.  According to the Oregonian, the woman’s credit report included an incorrect Social Security number and birth date on her credit report, leaving her susceptible to major damage to her credit history.

CBS News reports that 1-in-4 consumers have an error on their credit report, and that 1-in-20 errors cause damage to credit scores of up to 25 points.  That number can make or break a person’s credit.

This woman’s story highlights the importance of regularly checking your credit report.  You can get your credit report for free once a year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.  You can also get your credit score from the credit reporting bureaus for around $10.

Tips for monitoring your credit report:

Credit card sitting on the keyboard of an open laptop

You can get your credit report for free once a year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com

  • Stagger the reports.  Pull your report from one of the credit reporting bureaus once every four months.  For example, pull your Equifax report in January, TransUnion in May, and Experian in September.  This will give you a good picture of your financial health throughout the year.
  • Check the reports against each other.  Compare the information provided by each credit reporting bureau.  Not all creditors report their information to all three bureaus, so the information provided by each bureau will be different.
  • Take the time to look for errors.  Check the accuracy for all lines of credit that show up in your report.  Scrutinize account numbers, payment histories, and balances.
  • Make the call.  If you notice an error, contact your creditors and the credit bureau to dispute the mistake.  Be prepared to fill out paperwork to prove that the information is incorrect.  Ask for replacement cards, new account numbers, and passwords for all your legitimate accounts to prevent identity thieves from further accessing your cash and credit.  Also request that your credit report be flagged with a fraud alert, and ask that creditors contact you at your phone number to verify all future applications.

Call the fraud departments of the three major credit reporting agencies listed below.

For more information on surviving identity theft, click here.

Written By:

Tags: , , , ,

Recent Posts

Massachusetts Lemon Law Rights Adjusted Following State-Wide Vehicle Inspection Station Outage posted on Apr 28

Massachusetts Lemon Law Rights Adjusted Following State-Wide Vehicle Inspection Station Outage

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles’ (RMV) vehicle inspection stations are back online after a state-wide outage from March 30, 2021 to April 17, 2021, caused by a malware attack. Affected consumers who were unable to access inspection resources during the outage are now eligible   …Continue Reading Massachusetts Lemon Law Rights Adjusted Following State-Wide Vehicle Inspection Station Outage

Financial Literacy Month 2021 posted on Apr 15

Financial Literacy Month 2021

Balancing a checkbook, making sure your expenses can be covered with your income, and saving for a rainy day emergency are all examples of financial literacy, or the ability to understand and effectively manage your personal finances. April is National Financial Literacy Month, a time   …Continue Reading Financial Literacy Month 2021

Protect Yourself Against Scams this Tax Season posted on Mar 18

Protect Yourself Against Scams this Tax Season

Tax Day is quickly approaching, and this year more Americans are planning on filing their taxes online, according to McAfee’s 2021 Consumer Security Mindset Report. Filing taxes electronically is a more convenient and efficient process but may open you up to scammers hoping to steal   …Continue Reading Protect Yourself Against Scams this Tax Season