A bad credit report can cause *serious* issues for
people hoping to rent an apartment.
get a job.
or apply for a loan.
A study done by the Federal Trade Commission found.
*25-percent* of consumers had an error on their credit
report that might affect their credit score.
News 8 Investigates how to fix Credit Report Mistakes.
Lisa Klein is here with the story.
Martha and Mike.
the Federal Trade Commission study was eye-opening
for the director of the F-T-Cs Bureau of Economics.
The director says this study makes it clear that consumers
should check their reports regularly...
If they dont.
they are potentially putting their pocketbooks at
well look deeper into what to do once youve found
Life was normal for this busy Onalaska mother of two...
All there is is karati and work schedules up here...
Until 25-year-old Brittany Tostrud started to notice
I was filing my taxes this year and it popped up with
an email address that didnt belong to me.
Brittany found another mistake after checking her
I saw a Comcast bill on there.
Ive never lived anywhere where theres a Comcast.
So, it started really to not add up.
While this young mom admits she expected her credit
report would show a few bills she knew she hadnt
paid on time.
She didnt expect to see incorrect information start
to stack up.
place clothes on pile
Then it showed an Illinois address on my credit report
and Ive never lived in Illinios.
So that kind of was a red flag right there that something
It happens quite frequently.
Collection manager and loan officer Jackie Mahlum-Paul
at G-E-C-U in La Crosse says she *has* worked with
people who have found errors in their credit reports.
and the consequences can be serious.
It will always be a negative impact if there is an
The degree of negativity is determined by what kind
of an error it might be.
A 2012 Federal Trade Commission study of the US
Credit reporting industry found one in four consumers
identified errors on their credit reports that might
affect their *credit scores.* Local law enforcement
says if you find an error act fast.
If theres debts.
If theres creditors that you just dont have any
idea why theyre there, you need to contact us and
file that police report because most creditors are
going to want a police report before they even start
looking into it.
To file a police report and start the process to determine
if the mistake is a credit reporting error or identity
investigator Marcon says people should bring in proof.
Whatever documents youve got.
that creditor that you dont believe is true, bring
in, and we will add that to the police report and
pretty much take it from there.
Once the police report is filed, the Federal Trade
Commission website says there are two steps that need
to be taken to correct the mistake.
a person should write to the credit reporting company
stating the inaccuracies and include copies of documents
that support the claim.
The second step is to write to the company or organization
that reported you to a credit company.
and state that you dispute an item in your credit
These steps are exactly what Brittany needs to take
to have the misinformation removed from her credit
Its just weird to see this address in Illiniois keep
popping up under my name.
And she knows the importance of fixing the problem.
All I know is I want to figure out how to get it taken
care of and get it off my credit, becuase eventually
it probably will start to hurt it especially if people
are opening up Comcast things or whatever else under
my name and not paying them.
or just wracking up bills.
I dont want that to keep showing up on my credit.
In Onalaska, LK, N8,
Once you report an error to one of the big three credit
Trans Union, Equifax or Experion.
the credit reporting company usually investigates
the claim within 30 days.
If you need help writing a dispute letter.
I have links to sample letters on our website.
news 8000 dot com.
?How do you know if there is bad information on your
Both the Loan Officer and the Onalaska Investigator
say its important to check your credit reports for
The Loan Officer says its a good idea to pull a credit
report every four months to check your credit.
Federal law allows people to get a free copy from
each of the three major credit reporting agencies
once a year.
You can also find out how to order a free report by
going to news 8000 dot com.