Should I fix a credit report typo?
October 17, 2008 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Should I fix a minor typo on my credit report?

My credit report contains a minor error in my personal information. An old address of mine is listed three times: two times with the correct house number and street name but slightly different street abbreviations (Cir and Crl for Circle--note I am not concerned about that discrepancy), and once with the wrong house number but correct street name. The numbers are the same but two digits have been switched. In all, the three addresses are (for example):
2402 Oak Cir,
2402 Oak Crl, and
2042 Oak Cir

I realize this is a very minor mistake, and it seems to me that anyone looking at it would assume that the last address is a typo. I know there is a procedure for fixing errors, but I would like to know if it is something I actually need to worry about. The typo has been in place for a few years and in the meantime I've had no trouble getting approval for a credit card and car loan. The reason I am hesitant to go through with challenging the mistake is that it sounds like a major pain: sending certified letters to all 3 reporting agencies, getting proof of the old address (I'm sure I could find something, but probably not until I go home to "2402 Oak Cir" this Christmas), and waiting a fairly long time before it would even be fixed.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and want to share your advice? Is it easier than I'm anticipating? I don't want to do anything that would potentially hurt my credit rating so I'm happy to fix this if it's important. Thanks in advance!
posted by Jemstar to Work & Money (3 answers total)
No, don't touch it, it's not worth all the confusing cross-problems you or any number of other people could cause by accident while messing with it. I can imagine your next AskMe already: Somehow, my credit file got mangled, and now...

The typo address will not hurt anything, since credit reporting software does fuzzy matching anyway. It is possibly even a good thing that there are variations.
posted by rokusan at 7:09 PM on October 17, 2008

I haven't been in that situation, but it reminds me of this episode of Fresh Air. Terry Gross describes an address mix-up that complicated her husband's credit report (someone else's credit was tacked onto his because of a similar address, if memory serves) and her guest, Elizabeth Warren, explains a lot of the more surprising aspects of credit reports. It doesn't have a clear yes or no answer to your question, but it may give you some context for taking the next step.
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:46 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Don't mess with it. Its a complete non-factor to anyone trying to judge your credit rating. If for some strange reason it does become a problem down the road, you can easily prove to the would be creditor that it is an error.
posted by curlyelk at 8:06 AM on October 18, 2008

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