Do you take your credit for granted? When is the last time you took a close look at your credit reports? Here is our take on inaccuracy in the credit reporting system and the potential impact it may have on your life.
High Stakes in the Credit Repair Game
Your financial life depends on the content of your credit. Every time you apply for credit a lender will check your report with at least one of the three bureaus. The content of your report will determine your eligibility for a loan as well as the interest rate you will pay. The interest rate in turn will determine your monthly payment. Higher rates mean higher payments, and higher payments erode your ability to save and enjoy the security that comes from building wealth. The goal of any legitimate credit repair company should be to re-shape your credit to meet the highest lender standard and improve the quality of your financial life.
Some Amazing Numbers
Did you know that each of the three bureaus maintain credit files on over 200 million Americans? Each individual credit file contains the history and current status of credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, collections, public records, and more. Current accounts must be updated monthly and are dependent on the accurate participation of millions of creditors and other data furnishers. The shear amount of data is mind-boggling.
The Cost of Errors
Given the amount of data being managed by the credit bureaus it is not a surprise that there are errors. But what does it mean to you? According to the National Association of State PIRGs (a nonprofit, public interest advocacy organization) 79% of all credit reports contain mistakes, 54% of all credit reports contain personal information that is long outdated, belongs to a stranger, or is otherwise incorrect, 30% of all credit reports contain accounts that are closed by the consumer but continue to be reported as open, and 25% of all credit reports contain errors serious enough to result in the outright denial of credit. As a credit repair professional dealing with credit reports on a daily basis, I can attest to this widespread occurrence of errors. Is everything correct on your on your report? The odds are not in your favor.
Somewhere between the 79% of consumers with errors on their reports, and the 25% who will be denied credit due to those errors, exists a vast number who will be bumped into a lower credit class and pay a higher interest rate than they should. Many of these consumers will never be aware of the fact that lenders are quietly charging them one or two percent more on their loans. Let’s translate the statistics. 79% represents 158 million Americans with errors on their credit reports. 25% represents 50 million Americans that will be denied credit due to errors. The vast middle ground contains 108 million Americans who may be paying hundreds of extra dollars each month as a result of errors in the credit reporting system. What about you? If you are not paying attention to the content of your credit report you are playing financial Russian roulette. If you are in the majority, an intelligent credit repair effort can pay for itself a hundred times over.
A Case of Skewed Statistics
I have been in the credit repair business since 1989 and have come to the unfortunate conclusion that people with real credit issues, those whom have missed payments, fallen behind, or defaulted on a debt, are more than twice as likely to have serious errors on their reports than the statistical norm. In other words, the potential for errors becomes considerably worse for those that can afford it the least. Why does this happen? When an account slips into a derogatory status it is no longer in the mainstream; the creditor often moves the account to a different department; the creditor name may be reported slightly differently and account numbers may be modified. If the account is charged off and sent to a collector it is almost inevitable that it will eventually appear in duplicate or triplicate on your report. And over time collection accounts change hands, often shedding their statute of limitation start date and continue to report well beyond their proper expiration, sometimes appearing as if brand new.
The Credit Repair Road to Recovery
Have you had legitimate credit issues? Are you working on recovering from those issues? The good news is that a competent credit repair effort can effectively remove the errors from your report and give you the fair chance that you deserve. Do you know that you can get your three credit reports for free one time per year? Go to AnnualCreditReport.com, the only site where you can get your reports for free with no strings attached. Review your reports. Call a credit repair expert for a consultation. Take charge today. It’s your right, and there is nothing that can have more of an impact on your financial life.
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