Scrutinizing Your Credit Report for Errors: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian

In an alarming report, The Federal Trade Commission stated that about one in every 20 consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports that “could lead to them paying more for products such as auto loans and insurance.”

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What does this mean for you?

It means you should periodically check the information on your credit report. Pay close attention to outstanding balances, timeliness of loan payments, and whether there are any loans in your report that you did not authorize.

Free credit reports are available to you each year; request a free report from There are three major credit reporting companies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian), so it is simple to request a free credit report every four months. For example, on January 2nd of each year you could obtain your annual report from Equifax; on May 2nd, from TransUnion; on September 2nd, from Experian.  Next year, begin the process again with Equifax. Your report may differ between providers (one may show an error, while another does not), so it is a good idea to frequently check your credit report.

Credit reports have a huge impact on your life. If information is reported improperly, you could end up paying more for loans. Banks carefully analyze your credit report and credit score before they decide to issue a loan. If there is a mistake, such as an additional loan on your credit report that you did not open, you could potentially receive a higher interest rate on any future loans you apply for.

For common questions about credit reports, please visit: