September 8th, 2011

3 Common Credit Report Errors

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Let’s face it – everyone makes mistakes, and credit bureaus are no exception. The numbers vary, but it’s reported that anywhere between 3 and 25 percent of credit reports contain an error. These errors often go overlooked, and can hurt your credit score.

Pulling your credit reports from each of the three major credit bureaus and checking them for errors is an easy first step towards better financial health. By going through each item on your credit report, you may find errors that can be corrected, which can improve your credit health.

Here are the most common errors to look out for when reviewing your credit report.

Outdated personal information

The three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) each have their own database. This means that your basic contact information, including your name and address, can vary between the three. If you have changed your name or recently moved, it’s a good idea to make sure that your information is up to date at all three bureaus. This will cut down on any confusion when you apply for credit in the future.

Mistaken or fraudulent accounts

After checking your basic information, it’s a good idea to count the total number of accounts listed on your credit report. A mix-up in credit files can create confusion between you and someone who lives at the same address or has a similar name as you. This can cause an account to be accidentally placed on your record. Along with mistaken identity, theft is also a major concern. Knowing how many open accounts you currently have reduces the likelihood of having credit cards open fraudulently in your name.

Incorrect account details

Aside from the number of accounts on your credit report, be conscious of the specific information for each account. Clerical errors can mislabel the type of an account on your record, which can negatively impact your score. For example, a home equity line of credit should be labeled as such, and not merely a line of credit. Having a good mix of credit will improve your credit health, but only if your accounts are reported correctly. The same can be said for your credit limits, which is a crucial part of calculating your credit card utilization. If the credit bureau is reporting your credit card limits as too high or too low, this can possibly impact your credit score.

What does it all mean?

Now that we’ve covered the most common errors, check out this helpful post with instructions on how to dispute an error on your credit report. Being aware of these types of errors can help you proactively spot them on your credit report, and start you down the path to improved credit health.

Give credit where credit is due,

Danielle Belfatto, Karma Contributor

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Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.


  1. Mike

    Hi Catherine – Thanks for your question. You can read more about personal information on your credit report, and what to do if that information’s incorrect, here:


    Mike at 12:11 pm on January 16, 2015
  2. I have 2 different collection agencies reporting the same credit. On the oldest agency it says last reported 2012. How do I go about getting this taken off of my report? It is being reported as 2 different debts, but in reality it is the same debt. Thanks.

    KC Hall at 2:08 pm on February 5, 2015
  3. Mike

    Thanks for your question, KC. If you have incorrect details on your credit reports, you could potentially file a dispute directly with the credit bureaus. Find out more about that here:


    Mike at 3:38 pm on February 5, 2015
  4. How long does a bad report stay on your credit report. I had an employee run up a cell phone acct ten years ago. I tried to pay initial amount but could not through original holder. The new debt holders seem to be churning my balance upward and have not responded me. what is my recourse.

    Lew at 3:53 pm on February 18, 2015
  5. Hi, should accounts that were closed due to chapter 7 bankruptcy still show on my report?

    Krystal at 7:05 pm on March 11, 2015
  6. Mike

    Thanks for your question, Krystal. You can learn a bit more about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy here:

    Mike at 8:59 am on March 12, 2015
  7. Showing a collection for ADR—bill was paid on 2/4/15 Check No. 462 in the amount of $79.12—could u correct this on Credit Karma

    William E. Harman Sr. at 7:47 pm on March 15, 2015
  8. Mike

    Hi William – If you see incorrect details on your credit reports, you could possibly file a dispute directly with the credit bureaus to get that error corrected. Find out more about how to do that here:

    Mike at 11:49 am on March 16, 2015
  9. I don’t know what a certain account’s original creditor is?

    Dorothy V. Leiby at 6:30 pm on March 21, 2015
  10. Mike

    Hi Dorothy – It sounds like you may be talking about a collections account. You can see more information about those, including the identity of your original creditor, by checking out our dedicated collections page. Find that here:


    Mike at 10:20 am on March 23, 2015
  11. my check book was stolen but before I realized it I wrote a check for 80$. Now the bank has sent the check I wrote to collections. If they hadn’t paid the checks that were stolen my 80$ check wouldn’t have bounced. Advice?

    Summer at 1:47 pm on March 23, 2015
  12. Mike

    I’m sorry to hear about that, Summer! I can’t provide you with that kind of advice, but I can recommend you check out our Credit Karma community page to see if anyone has faced a similar situation. You can do that here:


    Mike at 4:31 pm on March 23, 2015
  13. I have paid off 2 high balance charge cards. they are still showing on my credit report

    Should I leave them at a zero balance or close them/ and how often
    is my credit report updated?

    Linda Boyne Murphy at 8:52 am on March 27, 2015
  14. Jenna

    Hi Linda,

    Great job paying off those two high balances! Closing the cards could end up hurting your credit health, so we’d recommend exercising caution before doing so. You can learn more here: and here:

    Your Credit Karma account can be updated as often as weekly, but lenders typically only report to the bureaus once a month, so your information may not be updated for 30 days or so. You can learn more here:

    If you have any other questions, please email and we’d be happy to help you out. Thanks!

    Jenna at 10:13 am on March 27, 2015
  15. I have not purchased any services from cox company .
    Why it has run my credit .my objectives

    Daryoush at 10:58 pm on March 29, 2015
  16. Jenna

    Hi Daryoush,

    Sorry to hear about this. If you’d like to dispute a hard inquiry, you can learn how to do so here:

    Jenna at 9:41 am on March 30, 2015
  17. Hi
    Accounts that haven’t had activity for over 10 yrs
    Even if dismissed do they stay on your report or can they be removed?
    Thanks and Aloha

    Tony Kossman at 6:38 pm on April 15, 2015
  18. Mike

    Thanks for your question, Tony. If an account has been closed for 10 years, it’ll generally fall of your credit report automatically. You can read more about that here:

    If you feel like this account should be removed but it hasn’t, you could always potentially file a credit report dispute. Find out more about how to do that here:

    Mike at 9:48 am on April 16, 2015
  19. i recently paid off a public note( bank judgement) against me. I was wondering how I can get that off my credit report. It’s still there and it’s been over 3 months almost 4 since it was paid

    Jeffrey bivens at 10:45 am on May 12, 2015
  20. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Jeffrey – Generally, Public records stay on your report for about 7 years. You can read more about it here:

    Enola Guerrero at 10:46 am on May 13, 2015
  21. there is a cable company reporting me bad credit, this is not mine, its Richard Jr. I want this fixed right now….please take off my credit, do you know how to read soc sec. numbers..

    R ichard Knittle at 6:14 am on May 20, 2015
  22. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Richard – Please refer to this page for disputing errors on your report:


    Enola Guerrero at 9:51 am on May 20, 2015
  23. you have two addresses on my credit report,which are wrong,I have lived at my present address for the past 30 years ,and no other mailing address but the one I have now,for the same time appears you have bad information on me,as to where I lived in the past.please up date your information ,to reflect the right and proper address,thank you.

    Larry D. Brown at 11:20 am on May 21, 2015
  24. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Larry – Please check out this article for fixing errors on your report:

    Thank you!

    Enola Guerrero at 10:45 am on May 22, 2015
  25. My credit report has 3 names as an error how we correct and use only one name? Joel Lozano villafuerte as per my license driver, thanks

    Joel Lozano Villafuerte at 7:25 pm on May 25, 2015
  26. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Joel – Please refer to our dispute page on how to clear any errors you see on your report:

    Thank you!

    Enola Guerrero at 10:23 am on May 26, 2015
  27. That is not my sprint and not my address home and he or her stole my ID last four number. I never order from sprint at all and where u are coming from this and I want u get off my credit report right now ASAP! I did already police report who stole my address and ID last four SSN! I have my own ATT only cuz I’m deaf and I think someone stole from under my last four SSN from sprint! No reason why! I will call my lawyer ASAP and what is going on u are very thief my stuff from credit report! Pls removed it both of it ASAP! Thank you!

    Judith Alfano at 10:48 am on June 15, 2015
  28. I was told by Lexington Law That the debt in collections is being done illegally. They said that they are changing the dates to keep it active. I couldn’t afford their $50 fee to clear it. What else can I do?

    Terrill Smolar at 12:57 am on June 16, 2015
  29. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Terrill – I suggest asking your credit concerns here:


    Enola Guerrero at 10:00 am on June 16, 2015
  30. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Judith – To fix any errors you see on your report please go to the following article:


    Enola Guerrero at 10:37 am on June 16, 2015
  31. I’m a bit confused, trans-union states I have more accts. open than I do. Why do they continue to report discover acct closed over 10 years ago and how do I get them to stop the madness?

    Nicky Whelan at 9:10 am on November 16, 2015
  32. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Nicky – To dispute any errors you see on your report, you can dispute them by going here:

    Enola Guerrero at 4:06 pm on November 17, 2015
  33. Why do the credit reporting agencies have disparate information? Transunion, Equifax and Experian all have difference scores and differing reasons for their scores. I thought all the credit info has to be taken into account by all credit reporting agencies, equally.
    Why are credit card companies allowed to reduce your credit arbitrarily, therefore negatively impacting your dept to credit ratio, without any repercussions to them?
    What government agency regulates credit reportingin agencies like Experian and Equifax?
    How can we as consumers get the government to regulate them so they are equitable and fair to consumers?

    Helene Gelber-Lehman at 10:34 am on November 18, 2015
  34. My score dropped 85 points and I see no change on my report. I can I find the cause of the drop.

    ed at 9:26 am on December 13, 2015
  35. Enola Guerrero

    Hi Ed – Since we are not a credit bureau, we do not know the specifics as to why it dropped. I suggest monitoring you credit and reading more about score changes here:


    Enola Guerrero at 5:15 pm on December 15, 2015

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