Aleta from Mena, Arkansas, has had a hard time getting a decent rate on a car loan all because of a mistake on her credit report. The problem started when she received a bill that was caused by a computer glitch and not because of money she actually owed. She tried to resolve the problem but the company ended up turning the bill over to a collection agency and the erroneous charge ended up on her credit report.

Aleta eventually was able to get a letter from the company that she provided to the credit bureaus indicating that the bill was a mistake and should never have been turned over to collections. She even got the collection agency to vouch for her. But the delinquent bill remained on her credit report for many months, preventing her from getting the credit she needed.

Aleta is one of an estimated 10 million Americans with mistakes on their credit report serious enough to result in higher interest rates on loans, according to the Federal Trade Commission. When credit report errors are serious enough to damage a consumer's credit score, the financial consequences can be costly. Consumers may end up paying thousands of dollars more in interest over the lifetime of their mortgage or hundreds of dollars more in auto insurance as a result of such errors.

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