Your credit report could be costing you money - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Your credit report could be costing you money

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The Federal Trade Commission says for every twenty people out there, one has an error that could cost them money.

Vice President of Consumer Lending Jim Obert at First Bankers Trust says these errors can happen in many ways. One common way is simple human error.

"It simply could be a middle initial that's wrong. And that was an error by the individual typing the information into the credit bureau system could have made an error at the beginning of the inquiry which creates some of the discrepancies," said Obert.

Obert says even though an error such as that may seem like a small mistake to have, it can actually cause you big problems later on if you go to open an account somewhere or try to prove who you are. He says the name, birth date, and social security number are the three most important ways to identify a person.

A report shows thousands of consumers were denied loans last year because of errors on their credit reports.

Imagine this: You go into a bank to get a loan and you're told you're deceased. Obert says it happened to one person right here in Quincy. A real surprise to her.

A mistake like that on your report can be a real headache to sort out, sending you all over town to track down documents and prove who you are.

But Koch's Lane First Bankers Trust Branch Manager Lisa Hoffman says this is something you can find out ahead of time before you're facing a problem head on.

"Every year you can get a free credit report," Hoffman said. "And I suggest with everybody to pull it every year and check to make sure that what is on there is correct."

Hoffman says by finding out early you have plenty of time to foresee any issues you may have and fix them before you find yourself facing a lender with a real need and a problem on your credit report that might cause you to pay at a higher interest rate or be denied altogether.

A discrepancy on your credit report can be as small as a wrong initial or as big as a fraudulent account.

But even if you have been the victim of identity theft, Obert says it's something you need to fix before it costs you more money.

"Contact the credit reporting agency. Those numbers are available. That information is online." Obert said. "It's very advisable to people at least once a year is to verify their credit. Check what's out there. Make sure there hasn't been some identity theft or fraud involved."

Obert says the sooner you can get it fixed, the better. Before the false information keeps spreading to other sources. Because he says the longer you let it go, the harder it is to clean up the mess.

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