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Consumer credit reports may contain flaws

Jun 09, 2011 Brian Bradley

Consumer credit reports are essential to securing a loan for major purchases, such as a new home or a car, and can often factor in to an employer's decision to hire a potential candidate. Many consumers take precautions to ensure their credit remains unblemished - a hard feat to manage, given the difficult economy. However, according to a recent study, conducted by the Policy and Economic Research Council, many credit reports contain major mistakes, with errors estimated at 19.2 percent. However, when consumers dispute the mistakes and have credit bureaus fix them, they often only see a less than 1 percent increase in their credit score. Accordingly, few corrections actually result in a large enough gain to lead to an improved credit risk tier, which can offer consumers access to cheaper loans, the New York Times reported. "To claim less than 1 percent have meaningful errors is kind of like trying to change an 'F' to an 'A' on you report card," said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at, to the New York Times. Although some errors may be the fault of others, many consumers have had difficulty keeping on top of their own reports in light of the economy. For example, many have had to choose between paying off their credit card bills or their mortgage.