Millions of Americans have mistakes on their credit reports, some of which are serious enough to lower credit scores and result in worse credit offers, a new government study finds.

As many as 42 million Americans have errors on their credit reports, according to a Federal Trade Commission study of around 1,000 participants and 3,000 credit reports released Monday.

“Errors in credit reports can cost you a loan, a competitive interest rate, a job, security clearance and insurance,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com.

Not all of these errors will impact your ability to get credit, however. In fact, only 2.2% of reports contained errors so serious that they could lead consumers to receive higher-priced credit than they deserve. But because the three biggest credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — each maintain credit reports for about 200 million consumers, that error rate still means 10 million Americans are being denied loans or getting stuck with higher interest rates due to errors on their reports.

The Consumer Data Industry Association defended this 2.2% error rate, saying in a statement that overall, the report “shows that 98% of credit reports are materially accurate.”

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Category: Credit

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