WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study of the U.S. credit reporting industry found that five percent of consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports, which the agency said could result in them paying more for products such as auto loans and insurance.
"These are eye-opening numbers for American consumers," said Howard Shelanski, director of the FTC's Bureau of Economics. "The results of this first-of-its-kind study make it clear that consumers should check their credit reports regularly. If they don't, they are potentially putting their pocketbooks at risk."
The study, in which participants were encouraged to use the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) process to resolve any potential credit report errors, also found that:
• One in four consumers identified errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores.
• 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.
• Four out of five consumers who filed disputes experienced some modification to their credit report.
• Slightly more than one in 10 consumers saw a change in their credit score after the CRAs modified errors on their credit report.
• Approximately one in 20 consumers had a maximum score change of more than 25 points and only one in 250 consumers had a maximum score change of more than 100 points.