Are mistakes on your credit report dragging your score down? Here are ways to help

ATLANTA — From getting a loan to landing a job, your credit score impacts your ability to do just about anything in the financial world.

So what happens when there’s false information on your credit report dragging your score down?

A report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that over half of all complaints involved people dealing with just that.

Channel 2 consumer adviser Clark Howard has found some ways to fight back against the mistakes.

The mistakes can happen in a number of ways, from identity theft to mistakes by businesses or the credit bureaus themselves.

The important thing is you need to keep tabs on your report and fight to make sure the bad info gets removed.

“So how do you monitor your credit?” Howard asked Ryan Hall.

“I just have a Credit Karma account and so I’ll try to check that once a month. See if anything has changed drastically up or down,” Hall said.

Howard asked Josiah Oakley if he monitors his credit scores on a regular basis.

“Oh, absolutely,” Oakley said. “I have an AMEX and it gives me access through the Credit Wise app. So it sends me alerts when anything changes.”

Kyle Banks told Howard he stays on top of his credit score as well.


“I do have Credit Karma,” Banks said. “It’s probably been by far probably the biggest tool to kind of increase that and look for things to actually use to increase it.

Howard said these answers were music to my ears, especially when you consider that 53% of all complaints received by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2021 were about bad info on credit reports.

About 34% of Americans say they have at least one error on their credit.

“We get calls all the time from people who are frantic,” said Lori Silverman, who runs Team Clark’s Consumer Action Center.

She said there’s no limit to the negative impact of false information.

“Primarily it’s your ability to get a loan,” Silverman said.

But you can fight back.

“You want to contact the company or entity. It’s usually going to be a collection agency that put that bad mark on your credit report,” Silverman said.

Next, contact each of the credit bureaus to report the error.

If that doesn’t work file a complaint with the CFPB and your state’s attorney general.

Howard says it’s also important to keep track of everything you do.

“You need to create a file and keep track of all your documentation and make sure it’s all in writing,” Silverman said.

Once the issue is resolved, continue to keep track of your report to make sure the problem doesn’t show up again.