Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
A man from North Las Vegas, Nevada, who is a first-time homebuyer applying for a mortgage along with his wife was shocked to see his “credit score just tank” and discovered that millions of dollars of debt was mistakenly added to his credit report, according to a report from KTNV ABC Channel 13 Action News in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mike Rader checked his credit report in March 2021 and “found a balance of nearly $16 million” and that “this other credit bureau is reporting almost $28 million on that same account,” he told 13 Action News. “How do you wrap your head around having a credit of $3,000 on some card and suddenly owing between 16 and 28 million.”
Rader called his credit card company but “they told him it was an issue with the credit bureaus” so he called the credit bureaus and “they all said we only go off the data that’s provided to us by the bank” so he was “working hard to fix a problem that someone else created for me, and it feels really unfair,” 13 Action News reported.
His credit reporting issue was fixed but he is still waiting for his credit score to rebound, 13 Action News reported. “In a lot of ways I feel helpless. How do I manage a credit score when they can just so easily make a mistake… The takeaway for me is, the best defense is being hyper vigilant about monitoring for any of those errors,” he said.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers consumers a sample letter to dispute errors in a credit report. Once the credit bureau receives the letter, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires an investigation within 30 days. If the issue still is not fixed, consumers have the right to take legal action, 13 Action News reported.
In March 2021, the three nationwide consumer credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – announced they were extending free weekly credit reports to Americans for an additional year until April 20, 2022, to help them manage their financial health during the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Under United States federal law, all consumers are entitled to obtain one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three national consumer reporting agencies. However, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, these agencies increased the frequency to weekly for a one-year period starting on April 20, 2020.
Consumers should review all items that appear in their credit reports. If an error is identified, contact the credit reporting agency immediately to initiate a dispute of that information. The free weekly credit reports offered by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are available on AnnualCreditReport.com at www.annualcreditreport.com.
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global provider of background checks that was ranked the number one background screening firm by HRO Today in 2020 – provides employment purpose credit reports that deliver a profile of a job applicant’s financial history. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.
NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.
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