Credit scores are useful personal markers in contemporary society. Purchasing houses, getting better auto rates, and even receiving interviews can all be benefits to having higher credit scores. On the flip side, lower rates lead to turmoil.
Equifax was ordered on Friday to pay Julie Miller of Marion County, Oregon, $18.6 million for a case that was originally filed in 2011 due to a series of unresolved errors. Julie made eight points of contact to rectify misinformation on her record including such pertinent information as her Social Security number, birthdate, and even collection accounts according to OregonLive.com.
How can a company get this information wrong? Even more importantly, how can incorrect information continue to remain on one’s record even after requests for corrections have been sent? Don’t we all depend on companies inputting our personal information correctly?
The incorrect reports were first brought to Julie’s attention in 2009 when she was unable to receive credit from a bank due to the scoring. She requested her free credit report only to find that the information was inaccurate. Her protests toward Equifax went unresolved until October 2011 when she decided to take matters to the courts. Julie found that other credit reporting agencies also had errors; however, the other agencies made changes at her request.
While there is no surefire way to prevent this from happening, consumers do have some personal power to ensure protection. Requesting a free annual credit score is a good place to start. Consumers trust companies to handle personal information with respect and accuracy. When these boundaries are broken, the fabric of our society begins to erode.