JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Whether you are buying a house or buying a cell phone the type of credit you have can make a difference in getting what you want. Many credit counselors say your credit score is sort of like your grownup report card. Your report shows how well you handle your money but that report could have the wrong grade.
There is a new report out this month by the policy and economic research counsel that looks into how correct credit reports are. The study finds that more than 70 million people have wrong information in their credit reports.
"People often times make the mistake of assuming everything on that report is correct," said Garry Patterson, Financial Specialist with Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions.
Patterson talks to clients everyday about repairing their credit.
"You really ought to look at that thing at least once a year just to be sure that it's all accurate because often times people look at those reports and they say, 'I never had this credit card. I never bought furniture from this store', and it hurts their credit," said Patterson.
Patterson said the good news is those mistakes can be fixed.
"Whenever you get your credit report there is a form it's called a request for investigation," said Patterson.
You turn the form in on-line, by mail or over the phone. He said once you request the credit reporting bureau to look into what you think isn't right they have thirty days to investigate.
"If it is incorrect information they are required by law to take that off of there so it is very beneficial to the consumer to check those credit reports and make sure they're accurate and if they're not dispute it," said Patterson.
Sometimes the information in the report is correct but it may not be something you are responsible for.
"It will happen sometimes with family members, perhaps the child or the parents got the free credit card offer in the mail and they used it without the person knowing," said Patterson.
Patterson said the only way to get that type of blemish removed from your report is by following a path many don't want to go down.
"The only way to fix that or to remedy that financially is to sue your relative and not many people are willing to do that," said Patterson.
There are a lot of different reasons why your credit report is checked. However, Patterson said multiple inquiries can lower your score because it looks like you're trying to get credit and can't.