From the time we’re old enough to reason, we’re taught to take responsibility for our mistakes. As citizens and consumers, we are forever encouraged to take responsibility for our credit rating. Basic principles of accounting, the pros and cons of credit cards, and the importance of keeping debt under control: these concepts are not foreign to us. But consumers are not solely at fault for a faulty credit report.
Giving credit where credit is due, a CBS News reporter illustrates that “79 percent of all credit reports contain some type of error,” with 25 percent of all reports containing errors significant enough that you may be denied credit! Other errors include misspelled names, inaccurate Social Security numbers, paid-off loans listed as outstanding, or omissions of credit or loan accounts that might serve to prove that you are responsible enough to manage a line of credit. The reality is that credit reporting bureaus such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have a measure of responsibility for your credit ratings … and their errors directly impact your monthly bills.
The same report points out that your credit rating is used to determine loan interest rates. Employers even use credit reports when deciding whether or not to give you a job! Complaints filed with the FTC detail incident after incident in which consumers’ credit reports provided details of delinquent accounts that did not exist, adversely affecting their credit rating.
Your monthly bills can be directly affected by inaccurate credit data. When a person’s credit rating is used to determine interest rate, an automobile costing $6,000 with zero down, 7 percent sales tax and a 3 percent interest rate will cost just over $186.70 per month. The same purchase at an interest rate of 8 percent becomes $201.17 per month. As a gentleman in Daytona Beach discovered, when you inherit someone else’s cell phone bill, your monthly payments increase while your credit rating slips.
Though we all must take responsibility for the risks we take and the mistakes we make when using credit, we should not have to pay for the mistakes of others – especially those agencies who are charged with fairly reporting our achievements as well as our blunders.
You can still take control of your finances, however, when you take the first steps to repair your credit report. At Ovation, we have tools to help you learn more about your credit report and how you can make your report the best possible reflection of you and your creditworthiness.