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Outdated personal information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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. I don’t know what a certain account’s original creditor is?

    Dorothy V. Leiby at 6:30 pm on March 21, 2015
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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

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