One of the items on my financial resolutions list this year is to check my credit reports.
It’s something consumers should do every year. It’s the best way to find out if errors have been made by financial institutions in reporting your credit history and to have any mistakes corrected.
In a recent report on how the three largest nationwide credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – manage consumer data and compile credit report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found most of the information in credit reports comes from a few large companies and financial institutions.
The report also found that more than a third of disputes about credit report accuracy have to do with collections.
Only one in five consumers obtains copies of their credit report each year.
Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, has a page at www.consumersunion.org/creditreport with information on how to get your free credit report, how to fix mistakes in the report, and why it’s so important to check yours every year.
Consumers Union would like to see credit score included with credit reports. While consumers can currently pay to get their score, a previous report by the bureau found that one in five consumers would likely receive a meaningfully different score from the one sent to a lender.