As a busy physician, you may never check your credit report. But what you don’t know may hurt you. Some physician consumers don’t even realize there is an error on their credit report until they are denied an application for a car loan, mortgage, or credit card. According to MyFico, here are some of the more common errors to show up on a credit report and how you can fix them.

Incomplete information. It may be surprising to learn that not all creditors supply information to credit bureaus. If you are denied credit due to insufficient information (undocumented back accounts, mystery credit sources, etc.), this is the first thing you should investigate. If you contact your creditor and they refuse to provide this information, you may need find a new creditor.

Clerical error. Human error is often to blame when it comes to a mistake on your credit report. However, you may be helping these errors along if you use different versions of your name on applications. For example, Dr. James Vincent Jones could be Jim Jones on one application or JV Jones on another. Nicknames and variations are fine in life, but not on paper. Use your formal name across the board.


Mystery accounts. Here is where things can get dangerous. If you discover bank accounts or credit cards on your report that you never opened, you may be the victim of identity theft. That MD or DO at the end of your name makes you a prime target—so check your credit report regularly to make sure someone isn’t using your name to fund their devious plans. If you do spot a problem, begin by telling the credit bureau. They are obligated to investigate the claim and should provide a response within 30 days. You can help the process along by providing clear documentation of the disputed item in the report with copies of documents that support your assertion. Be specific about whether you want the item deleted or corrected.

Repairing your credit report takes patience and persistence. Don’t expect changes to occur overnight. Also, be prepared to exert a little extra effort if your requested changes are challenged or denied.