Watch: John Oliver takes down credit report errors

One in 20 contain something seriously wrong

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John Oliver had some choice words for credit bureaus in a segment of Last Week Tonight. In a revealing 20 minutes, Oliver slammed Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion for their shoddy track record at being even remotely accurate. (The latter two may sound familiar to you, as they’re the firms Canadians can turn to if they want access to their credit scores.) According to the segment, one in four credit reports—in the U.S., at least—contain an error, while one in 20 contained something seriously wrong. Yikes.

Take for instance the sad case of Judy Thomas, an Ohio woman who couldn’t for the life of her get approved for a loan or anything else, really. Why? Her credit report listed plenty of debts and collections, which belonged to a Utah woman named…Judith Kendall. That’s right, the credit bureau had mixed her up with someone else. What’s worse? The flub took six years to fix.

Apparently, inaccurate credit scores have been in the news for years—and none of the bureaus are really doing anything about it. If you’re wondering what your credit score is even used for, you may be surprised. You should read this.

Now, hopefully you don’t ever find yourself in Judy’s predicament, but if you have encountered a credit score horror story, leave it in the comments below!

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