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Some credit report errors never get fixed

Three years after issuing a report revealing that one in five consumers had a documented error on their credit reports, a follow-up study by the Federal Trade Commission found that almost 70 percent still believe that the information they disputed remains incorrect.

The FTC looked at the experiences of 121 consumers who had at least one unresolved credit report dispute in 2012. Only 37 of them said they accept the disputed information as now being correct.

The studies, requested by Congress, sought to determine the level of inaccuracies on credit reports.

Mistakes can be costly. The initial study determined that one in five consumers who found errors on their credit histories took a hit on their credit score that was significant enough to raise the interest rates they would qualify for.

The most recent study also found some distressing news from consumers who still believe they have unresolved errors on their reports: Half plan to just give up after dealing with the mistakes since 2012, leaving them in place.

The FTC also said 1 percent of consumers who reported that an error had been corrected later found it had reappeared.

Credit reporting agencies should continue to improve how consumers are notified about the findings of dispute investigations and to educate consumers about their rights to check the information on their reports, the FTC said.

Everyone in the U.S. is entitled a free copy, once a year, of a credit history compiled by any credit reporting agency. The top three agencies make their reports available through the website AnnualCreditReport.com.

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