A federal credit report accuracy study found that most consumers who previously reported an unresolved error on one of their three major credit reports believe that at least one piece of disputed information is still inaccurate.
The congressionally mandated Federal Trade Commission study is the sixth and final review of credit report accuracy. It follows a study issued by the FTC in 2013, which examined how many consumers had errors on one of the three credit reports.
The 2013 study found, among other things, that one in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency after it was disputed on at least one of the three credit reports. The study also found about 20% of consumers who identified errors on one of the three credit reports experienced an increase in their score that resulted in a lower credit risk tier, making them more likely to be offered a lower auto loan interest rate.
The new study announced Wednesday focuses on 121 consumers who had at least one unresolved dispute from the 2012 study and participated in a follow-up survey. It found that 37 of the consumers (31%) stated that they now accepted the original disputed information on their reports as correct.
However, 84 of these consumers (nearly 70%) continue to believe that at least some of the disputed information is inaccurate. Of those 84 consumers, 38 of them (45%) said they plan to continue their dispute, and 42 (50%) plan to abandon their dispute, while four consumers are undecided.
The study also examined whether consumers from the 2013 study, who had their credit reports modified after disputing information on their credit reports, had any of the negative information that had been removed subsequently reappear on their reports. The study found two instances of this, representing about 1% of these consumers.
The study recommends that credit reporting agencies review and improve the process they use to notify consumers about the results of dispute investigations, and that credit reporting agencies continue to explore efforts to educate consumers regarding their rights to review their credit reports and dispute inaccurate information.
Other study results can be found in the executive summary of the report.