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Protecting yourself against credit reporting errors

It has happened to many people and it has probably happened to you: You check your credit score and the number is lower than it should be, or perhaps it has suddenly taken a significant dip since your previous credit-score check and there's no reason for it that you know of. Perhaps you have checked your credit report and you spot an obvious error or a credit incident that you don't recognize.

But what can you do about it? If you spot errors in your credit report or suspect something is wrong, it is important to know your rights and what you can do to fight back and protect your financial interests.

A Recent Credit Reporting Error

ABC News recently reported an incident that is all too familiar. Jerry Rosen, a business owner, was denied a loan because of a sudden, unexpected dip of his previously stellar credit score.

Checking into the problem, Rosen discovered that a creditor - Hyundai Motor Finance - made an erroneous report regarding a late payment on a loan he had once held. Hyundai apparently offered to notify the credit bureaus about the mistake but the company would not give him anything in writing to salvage the loan he was seeking.

Know Your Rights

There are some important rights regarding credit reporting errors that you need to know if you are ever seeking a loan or other line of credit:

  • You have a right to proper and accurate credit reporting
  • Any company that has made an erroneous report is required to report the error to all three credit bureaus.
  • The credit bureaus must post the correction within 30 days of receiving the report of erroneous information.

If you have suffered damages as a result of an erroneous credit report or failure to correction in a timely manner, you could potentially obtain compensation for your losses. Do not wait. The sooner you talk with an attorney and bring a legal claim, the better your chances for obtaining the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.

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