by Leah Beno
Inaccurate credit reporting is a problem plaguing millions of people across the country, and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she wants more to be done to correct those inaccuracies -- and fast.
A recent report by the Federal Trade Commission found more than 25 percent of the credit reports contain major problems.
"These are just innocent Minnesotans who are doing nothing but paying their bills on time and doing everything right and somehow a mistake is made and it can take years to correct it," says Klobuchar. "Then they can't get a loan they are unable to get a good rate on a mortgage and it's unfair."
On Sunday, Klobuchar hosted a round table discussion made up of financial advisors and some of the people who have been battling credit rating companies.
"People don't realize credit reports have an impact far beyond access to loans," said University of Minnesota Law School Associate Professor, Prentiss Cox. "Insurance pricing, auto, home -- your job will be dependent on a search of your credit reports. If you get apartment, your landlord will look at your credit report."
Terry Bell is a former math professor who found a mistake in his credit report. Bell says he was trying to refinance when he came across inaccurate information in his report saying he missed a payment to his lender.
"I've been after this since last July, so it's been 8 months as I watch the interest rates go up and being very frustrated with it all," said Bell.
Christine Selrig owns a jewelry store in Coon Rapids, and she said her credit report reflected three missed mortgage payments -- all of which were wrong.
"It affected my other credit cards. My APR went up, my automobile insurance went up. It affected my business," said Selrig. .
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the authority to supervise the credit rating agencies, and as Klobuchar said, she plans to hold their feet to the fire and make sure that happens. Klobuchar is calling for more regulations on the private companies who calculate credit reports.
"We have to find ways to get these credit companies that have an enormous amount of power to treat these people fairly," insisted Klobuchar.
The first thing everyone should do if you have not done it already is check your credit report. You can do this once a year for free online.
If you find a mistake you can file a complaint online or call toll free 1-855-4111-CFPB(2372).