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Outdated personal information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. I’m really having trouble with credit reporting errors. I just recently paid off an installment loan (signature loan through my bank)and my credit score has dropped significantly.

    On Credit Karma, it dropped my total number of accounts by one as well as open accounts. My total of closed accounts should have increased. It remained the same.

    It also dropped my average length of credit hisotry.

    I’ve noticed that two perfectly good mortgage accounts (paid in full) and an auto loan (paid in full) have been deleted. Niether one of these accounts had a late payment.

    Since it is extemely difficult to get an account with derogatory information deleted from credit bureau accounts, why are the credit bureaus so calvalier about deleting accurate positive accounts?

    I would think that a mortgage account paid in full with no late payments would be a stellar item to have on a credit report these days.

    And these aeren’t the only paid in full with no late payment installment accounts that have been deleted from my credit bureua reports. And it is virtually impossible to get the lenders to go through the trouble of reporting these accountgs again.

    This is keeping my credit score lower than it should be. Who is responsible for restoring these accounts?

    Incorrect Reporting at 12:51 pm on September 11, 2011
  2. Hi, there! If I were you, I would get a copy of my credit reports and go through each account. Some of these may actually be incorrect, so it’s best to check with the credit bureaus directly.

    bethy at 12:50 pm on September 12, 2011
  3. Once you pay off your credit cards it is a good idea to leave them open and just not use them. A lot of people foolishly close their accounts after paying off their debt.

    Also bare in mind that credit repair actually takes time and if a business is promising you overnight repair they are fake.

    Garen at 4:20 pm on January 5, 2012
  4. I have credit cards that I’ve paid as settlements to clear my account out w these companies. Is it possible, and will it help my credit score, to try to have these, now closed accounts, removed from my credit report? Also, I show a collects account that I’m sure is not one that should be there anymore, how can I find out this companies information to contact and correct this issue?

    Thank you

    Cs at 6:00 am on June 28, 2012
  5. In a divorce settlement I was given our family car that, at the time was only year old at best. Turns out my ex financed it under his name only and although I gave been the one making ALL the payments since the settlement, which was 4 yrs ago, he is the one getting the good standing for it, not me. Is there anyway for me to show proof of my payments and get all that upstanding payment history to credit MY credit report instead if his???

    Thank you!

    Myname at 6:06 am on June 28, 2012
  6. It might help your credit score to have those accounts removed, but the creditors might not be so willing to do so. You can also try to convince them to put a “paid-settled” note on the accounts. To find out more info about the collections account, pull a copy of your full credit report from

    bethy at 9:27 am on June 28, 2012
  7. I doubt there’s a way to retroactively finance the auto loan, but we recommend checking in with our Credit Advice Center to see what the Credit Karma community has to say.

    bethy at 9:53 am on June 28, 2012
  8. i was trying to get my credit corrected i have never had a t mobile

    karisha norman at 2:14 pm on August 4, 2012
  9. If there’s something wrong in your credit report, here’s some information on how to dispute errors:

    bethy at 10:56 am on August 8, 2012
  10. Thanks for putting this article out it is so true…we see this everyday. This is why Credit Coach is here.If you need help contact Credit Coach

    becky at 11:12 am on August 20, 2012
  11. my car got repo’d in 2004 but it just popped up on my credit that i owe over 6000. dollars on it. That was 8 years ago. I don’t owe on a car that they repossessed. What should i do?

    Tawnya at 10:56 am on September 30, 2012
  12. My partner and I stumbled over here from a different website and thought I
    might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to checking out your web page repeatedly.

  13. There are many things on my credit report that I have no idea what they are.

    Carole. Kalagian at 9:10 am on March 5, 2013
  14. I filed for Bankruptcy in Feb.2012 then received money from my ex- husband and withdrew the Bankruptcy. It is showing on my credit report and has kept me from getting a home loan. How do I get this off my credit report.

    Linda Bartley at 8:27 am on August 30, 2013
  15. Jenna

    Hi Linda, we’d recommend disputing it with the credit bureaus.

    Jenna at 11:11 am on August 30, 2013
  16. My credit reports show that I have two home mortgages totally over $1,700,000 when, in fact, I have no home mortgages at all (we just bought a home but paid all cash for it.

    The two mortgages that they are picking up are the ones that I have on two high cash flowing apartment buildings that I have owned for years.

    Macy’s recently turned down our request for their store credit card because we “had to much debt”.

    By the way, our conservative personal net worth exceeds $4,000,000.

    Can I get TransUnion et al, to change the classification of these two mortgages to investment property mortgages from home mortgages?

    David M Kaufman at 6:11 am on September 5, 2013
  17. When I check my credit reports they have a lot of credit error I disputed them and the have not been removed they just say it been verifed. I also have on my reports multiple accounts of the same account so what can I do??

    Frederick Taylor at 7:54 am on October 19, 2013
  18. how do you get a copy of my credit reports

    frank remo at 9:35 am on January 14, 2014
  19. Mike

    Hi Frank – All of the information we display on CK comes straight from your TransUnion profile. If you’re having trouble establishing or accessing a Credit Karma account, please feel free to email support directly at to get some help. Thanks!

    Mike at 10:12 am on January 14, 2014
  20. I Just check my credit report and notice a address listed on my report that I have not resided. How can I have it remove?

    Toni L. Jackson at 8:50 am on February 19, 2014
  21. Mike

    Hi Toni – For help with your account, please contact Member Support directly at Thanks!

    Mike at 2:21 pm on February 20, 2014
  22. I paid off 2 accounts with portfolio recovery. I paid in full what was owed, but I still see the accounts on my credit plus they say closed. Its says total payment missed 1 and status payment 0%. what does that mean? I thought it would at least say paid in full. I know accounts are kept for about 7 years, no?

    Elsa at 9:28 am on March 10, 2014
  23. Mike

    Hey Elsa – Thanks for your questions. We’d be happy to help you out if you could email us at Thanks!

    Mike at 10:43 am on March 10, 2014
  24. It appears that your are showing I pay rent, I do not. My home was paid off years ago. Why is this showing?

    Rachel Ritch at 7:41 am on March 24, 2014
  25. Jenna

    Hi Rachel,

    We’d be happy to take a look at your account if you email However, as we get all of our information straight from TransUnion, you may end up having to file a dispute directly with the bureaus. Thanks!

    Jenna at 8:55 am on March 24, 2014
  26. I did not apply for this credit card that is listed on my credit report:


    Donna Scruggs at 10:43 am on April 8, 2014
  27. Mike

    Hi Donna – All of the credit report information on Credit Karma comes straight from TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus. If you’d like to dispute something on your credit report, please consult this article:


    Mike at 10:52 am on April 8, 2014
  28. I have never had a target credit card and do not have an auto loan at Union Bank

    Edith Burgess at 8:19 am on April 18, 2014
  29. Mike

    Hi Edith – All of the credit report information on Credit Karma comes straight from TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus. If you think there’s something wrong with your information on CK, you can learn more about the information dispute process here:

    Mike at 9:31 am on April 21, 2014
  30. How do I remove false accounts off my credit score

    Karin at 12:21 pm on May 6, 2014
  31. Mike

    Hi Karin – Thanks for your question! All of the credit report information on Credit Karma comes straight from TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus. If you see something incorrect on your Credit Karma profile, I’d suggest checking out this article for more information on the TransUnion dispute process:

    Mike at 4:17 pm on May 6, 2014
  32. 1. I have tax liens that have been paid in full showing on my credit report with a balance of $0. How can I get these removed? Is there a fed or state requirement that they remain on your credit report, if yes for how long?

    2. I have bankruptcies on my credit report that have been satisfied for over two years, how can I get these removed from my credit report? Is there a fed or state requirement that they remain on your credit report or is this what’s recommended

    Carolyn at 6:53 am on June 19, 2014
  33. Mike

    Hi Carolyn – Thanks for the question! Typically, tax liens and bankruptcies will remain on your report for seven years. To read more on the topic, I can suggest a couple educational articles from our website, which you can find here:

    Mike at 2:55 pm on June 19, 2014
  34. I have delinquent payments from a house note on an account that is now closed. My ex was ordered to pay the note but didn’t and the note was ultimately paid off. This is effecting my otherwise perfect score and I wonder if there is a way to resolve it.

    Stacey at 8:37 pm on June 19, 2014
  35. I tried calling a medical collection I have and they told me even if I pay it they dont remove it off my credit? How long do medical collections stay on credit?

    amy at 9:55 am on July 7, 2014
  36. Mike

    Good question, Amy. I’d suggest checking out this article for more information:


    Mike at 10:16 am on July 8, 2014
  37. I have a tax lien on my credit report from 2009? Have no idea what that is. How do I dispute it?

    Michael at 6:48 pm on July 22, 2014
  38. Mike

    Hi Michael – Thanks for your question. You can learn more about tax liens here:

    If this mark is incorrect, you can dispute it directly with the credit bureaus. Find more information about that process here:

    Mike at 8:52 am on July 23, 2014
  39. I paid off a collection but my score dropped 46 points I don’t understand that

    rachel at 7:42 am on September 30, 2014
  40. Mike

    Hey Rachel – I’m sorry to hear that! I recommend checking out our help center for more information. You could start here:

    Mike at 8:27 am on September 30, 2014
  41. I have 2 collection accounts listed on my report. One of these accounts is listed as new as of October 2013. That particular account is over 8 years old, and was sold to a couple of collectors and they are re-aging the debt as of now. How can I get them removed as that is illegal to re-age a debt?

    Lisa at 7:49 am on October 31, 2014
  42. Mike

    Hi Lisa – If you have incorrect information included on your credit reports, you can file a dispute with the credit bureau directly to have that information removed. You can read more about that here:

    Mike at 10:42 am on October 31, 2014
  43. I have a collection on my credit from duke energy.this started 10 years. my sister sister and her first husband got divorced. s ohe remarried had duke energy in her name different address. duke caught up with and charged it to her current account. she got her electric shut off NOW she had 2 account. so I opened an account in my name so she had electric. Totally separate account. my sister filed bankruptcy on duke energy.after her bankruptcy was cleared. duke decided I owed the bill. the 2500 that my sister filed bankruptcy accumulated in her first account in her name. IT DID NOT ACCUMULATE ON MY ACCOUNT I OPENED FOR HER. HOW CAN THIS BE CORRECTED. THIS IS TOTAL FRAUD ON DUKE ENERGY AND I HAVE DISPUTED THIS THROUGH CREDIT KARMA WITH NO HELP.. NOW TELL ME WHAT I SHOULD DO

    Beverly at 5:58 pm on December 11, 2014
  44. I have never had an affiliation with this Exposition Drive address in Vallejo,Ca..Please delete immediately.You have just made another error,as usual. Don Coburn

    Donald M. Coburn at 1:31 pm on January 10, 2015
  45. Mike

    Hi Don – I’m sorry to hear that there’s some wrong information on your credit report. You can read more about personal information on your credit report, and your options if it’s wrong, here:


    Mike at 9:24 am on January 12, 2015
  46. I never used the name Catherine Keeper and I would like to know how to remove this name from my credit report. If there is any way that I can remove it please help me.

    Catherine S Wood at 9:59 am on January 15, 2015
  47. 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
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. 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

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