(WWBT) - If you aren't checking your credit score three times a year, you might want to start.
A bad credit report can keep you from getting a house, a car or even a job.
Errors on credit reports are more common than you think, so it's important to monitor what the three major credit bureaus are reporting about you.
The Federal Trade Commission found in 2012 that one in four customers spotted errors in their credit reports. About 20 percent of people who report errors are able to get a resolution.
One common way errors make in on your credit report is if you share a name with someone else. It could also be that a birthday, Social Security number or address is listed incorrectly.
Richmond area financial planner Thomas Block said mistakes should be reported immediately and gather proof that the error is legitimate.
"You want to send that information by certified mail to the credit bureau," Block said. "Be patient. It could take up to 30 days before you get it initially answered and potentially up to 60 days before you get a resolution of some type."
If information related to your demographic data is wrong, that would indicate a cyber criminal is trying to get access to your information by changing it somewhere else.
If your information gets compromised, the criminal is likely to open a credit card in your name, max out the balance and leave you holding the both the debt and damage to your credit rating.
The important thing to remember is to be quick when you see something incorrect.
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