Step Five: Remove High Priority Errors
Approximately 80 percent of people have credit report errors, a quarter of which are serious enough to cause a person to lose a job opportunity or loan.
The worst errors, those caused by identity theft, can be a nightmare to remove from your credit report. Even simple, honest errors can be challenging and time consuming.
Credit report errors can be simple, such as having the wrong address or name listed on your account. They can be more insidious, like credit limits that are not listed.
Credit report errors can also be signs of identity theft—investments you did not make or accounts you do not own.
People with accounts in collection often have duplicate collection notices reported for the same account.
Whatever the high priority error, identify it and correct it. By removing credit report errors, you could see your score jump 20, 50, or even 100 points!
Beware, however of spending too much time on this step. Errors that are older than two years are likely not hurting your credit score that much. As well, do not waste your time correcting low priority errors, such as a typo in the spelling of your street address. Faster, more efficient ways to increase your credit score are described in the other six steps I’ve outlined herein.
Here are the high priority credit report errors to be on the lookout for:
- Information—such as names, Social Security numbers, or accounts—that does not belong to you. This is one of the highest priority credit report errors out there as it could indicate that you are a victim of identity theft.
- Delinquent account information—such as a collections notice—that is listed more than once.
- Credit limits that are incorrectly reported or not reported at all.
- Incorrect delinquent information, especially if the information is less than two years old.