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Avoiding inaccurate credit scores

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NBC News--If you haven't checked your credit score lately, you may want to.

A new study by the Federal Trade Commission indicates as many as 40 million Americans have errors.  Those errors can keep you from getting a loan, qualifying for lower interest rates, and even getting a job.

Tawanna Sellers is one of the roughly 20 percent of Americans with an inaccurate credit report.  "It was quite a few errors incorrect address incorrect claims against myself incorrect birthday"

The food service employee discovered the errors only after she was denied a loan to start a food truck company.  Four months later she's still fighting to fix her credit.  "Sometimes I think they want you to get frustrated so you stop but I can't"

Three companies dominate the credit reporting industry: Equifax , Transunion and Experian.  They determine your credit score based on how you've paid your bills, and how much debt you have.

 

In a statement, an Experian spokesman said the agency takes "all errors seriously."  Adding "The vast majority of disputes are resolved in 14 days or less."

 

Beth freeborn of the federal Trade Commission said, "Some rate of error is to be expected and what is important to focus on is when an error identified whether or not it is fixed."

The latest study by the Federal Trade Commission- found agencies modify disputed errors 90 percent of the time.  Mattias Kraemer helps people navigate that process.  "The process is not a one and done. You've got to insist, you've got to commit. Maybe you're going to have to write the letters again."

Kraemer advises people to take advantage of free yearly credit checks, and dispute any errors immediately.

Sellers adds, "Just to keep pursuing it."  Tawanna is taking that advice and she's says she is seeing progress.  Only two out of a handful of errors still remain on her report.

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