This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Your Credit Score Sucks Because of Identity Theft

By Juliette Fairley

NEW YORK ( MainStreet)--About 22% of Americans have never checked their credit report to verify the accuracy of the information while a quarter of those that did check their credit reports found errors, according to a new FindLaw study.

"There is always the potential for your credit report to contain inaccurate or outdated information," said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney with

A credit report is an overview and history of how much debt a person currently has and repayment track record. It also contains personal information such as recent home addresses, employers bankruptcies and court judgments.

"A negative credit report can have an enormous influence on a person's ability to obtain a mortgage, credit card, auto loan or other credit, and can also be used in making hiring decisions," Rahlfs said.

The survey found that 23% of Americans had a problem with their credit report, which included inaccurate information, identity theft, incorrect credit scores and being denied credit.

The most commonly reported problems were:

  • 1. Incorrect or outdated credit history information, such as delinquent debt, payment history and bankruptcies
  • 2. Incorrect or outdated personal information that includes address, job history, marital status and criminal background
  • 3. Identity theft or information mixed up with another person
  • 4. Incorrect reporting of a credit score as too low
  • 5. Denial of credit because of incorrect information in a credit report

About 68% of people who had problems with their credit report were able to correct the errors compared to only 18% percent who were unable to correct credit report errors. "It's important to check your credit report periodically to ensure the information it contains about you is accurate and up to date," Rahlfs said. "The credit reporting agencies all have detailed procedures for correcting errors. And our survey found that people are generally having success in getting the agencies to correct those errors."

Below are tips on what to do when a credit report contains erroneous information:

  • 1. Contact the fraud department of the collections company or business that made the mistake in the first place.
  • 2. File a dispute with all three credit reporting agencies immediately and create a fraud alert on your file. That's as simple as calling the credit reporting agencies or doing it yourself online.

  • Equifax 877-576-5734
    Experian 888-397-3742
    TransUnion 800-680-7289

  • 3. If the error involves identity theft, call the police to file a report as well as the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357.
  • 4. Create a paper trail. Gather all the receipts and records that pertain to the error to help prove your case in the event of a dispute.
  • 5. When all else fails, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new service that will look into the error and report back what it finds.
  • --Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet

    Select the service that is right for you!

    Action Alerts PLUS
    Try it NOW

    Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

    Product Features:
    • $2.5+ million portfolio
    • Large-cap and dividend focus
    • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
    • Weekly roundups
    TheStreet Quant Ratings
    Try it NOW
    Only $49.95/yr

    Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

    Product Features:
    • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
    • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
    • A custom stock screener
    • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
    Stocks Under $10
    Try it NOW

    David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

    Product Features:
    • Model portfolio
    • Stocks trading below $10
    • Intraday trade alerts
    • Weekly roundups
    Dividend Stock Advisor
    Try it NOW

    Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

    Product Features:
    • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
    • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
    • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
    Real Money Pro
    Try it NOW

    All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

    Product Features:
    • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
    • Intraday commentary & news
    • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
    Options Profits
    Try it NOW

    Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

    Product Features:
    • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
    • Actionable options commentary & news
    • Real-time trading community
    • Options TV
    To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
    Submit an article to us!


    DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
    S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
    NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

    Brokerage Partners

    Rates from

    • Mortgage
    • Credit Cards
    • Auto

    Free Newsletters from TheStreet

    My Subscriptions:

    After the Bell

    Before the Bell

    Booyah! Newsletter

    Midday Bell

    TheStreet Top 10 Stories

    Winners & Losers

    Register for Newsletters
    Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs