Don't Waste Your Money: How to fix errors on your credit report - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Don't Waste Your Money: How to fix errors on your credit report

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(Toledo News Now) -

Have you ever found a mistake on your credit report? A group of state attorneys general are saying the system to fix those mistakes is broken.

One out of five people find mistakes on their credit report every year. While you may think you can just call to get something wrong removed from your credit report, it's not that simple. In fact, a growing number of people are saying it can be impossible to get those errors corrected.

Dick and Gayle Collier say they took their good credit for granted.

"It hits on your ego. I mean, you work all your life, you save, and you're careful, and then all of a sudden...no credit. I mean, we can't get accepted for a car loan. It just really messes with your head," said Dick Collier.

Five years ago, the Colliers started seeing big mistakes on their credit reports. Gayle's records are meticulous. She keeps binders, spreadsheets and subscribes to a credit reporting service. Keeping track of her and her husband's credit reports is like a full-time job.

"You will hear that's easy to do, to simply write a dispute letter," said Gayle Collier.

TransUnion tells you the same thing. In fact, they have a video to tell you exactly how to dispute an error. Federal law mandates all credit reporting agencies to investigate any dispute.

"It's a joke the investigation that they do," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

DeWine, and other attorneys general across the country, have started a large scale investigation into credit report errors that plague millions of consumers.

"This is a system that works real well for everybody but the consumer," explained DeWine.

DeWine says if you find an error, you're supposed to send a dispute letter with documentation, but he says the system breaks down from there. He says the documentation doesn't get sent to creditors, instead it goes to companies outside the country, where agents have to look at 90 complaints or more a day.

A lobbying group for the big three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), however, won't confirm the attorneys general investigation. They also would not comment for our story.

"We've had people who can't buy a house or car, and they keep telling the reporting agency what the facts are and they keep getting jerked around," said DeWine.

It hasn't worked well for the Colliers. They had to turn to the attorney general's office for help. The mistakes were fixed -- or so they thought.

"Within six weeks Of those changes, it changed right back," said Gayle Collier.

So the fight continues.

What You Can Do

-Check your credit report with the three credit bureaus every year, it's free.

-As soon as you find an error, start writing letters to get it corrected because you'll want that mistake gone next time you apply for a loan.

-If you can't get an error corrected in 60 days, contact the Ohio Attorney General and file an official complaint.

That way you don't waste your money.

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Copyright 2014 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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