FTC issues study on accuracy of credit reports

The Federal Trade Commission yesterday issued a study on credit report accuracy. The study found that "most consumers who previously reported an unresolved error on one of their three major credit reports believe that at least one piece of disputed information on their report is still inaccurate."

The congressionally mandated study on national credit report accuracy follows a 2012 FTC study that examined how many consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports.

The FTC press release summarizes the findings:

The 2012 study found, among other things, that one in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after it was disputed on at least one of their three credit reports. The study also found that about 20 percent of consumers who identified errors on one of their three major credit reports experienced an increase in their credit score that resulted in a decrease in their credit risk tier, making them more likely to be offered a lower auto loan interest rate. 

The follow-up study … focuses on 121 consumers who had at least one unresolved dispute from the 2012 study and participated in a follow-up survey. It finds that 37 of the consumers (31 percent) stated that they now accepted the original disputed information on their reports as correct. However, 84 of these consumers (nearly 70 percent) continue to believe that at least some of the disputed information is inaccurate.  Of those 84 consumers, 38 of them (45 percent) said they plan to continue their dispute, and 42 (50 percent) plan to abandon their dispute, while four consumers are undecided.

The new study also looked at whether any negative information that had been removed subsequently reappeared on the credit reports of consumers whose reports were modified after they disputed that information. The study found only two instances, representing about 1 percent of the consumers in the study.


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