Look for inaccuracies on your credit report to avoid credit damage

Like consumers around the country, many individuals living in Northern Iowa continue to struggle with debt-related problems and are in need of a credit fix.

Although a lower national unemployment rate and increased consumer spending may indicate the economy is returning to productive levels, for a number of consumers, the growth isn't happening fast enough.

"We're still quite busy," Kathye Gaines, Mason City branch manager of the nonprofit Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northeastern Iowa, told the Globe Gazette. Gaines said high unemployment figures in the region, more medical debt and increased bankruptcy totals have led to the debt troubles.

The report said a number of underinsured consumers in the region rely on credit cards to pay off their medical bills, which can lead to overwhelming debt and credit damage.

However, some of these individuals may be unnecessarily suffering a hit to their credit score. This is because in some cases, medical facilities and creditors may relay the wrong information to the credit bureaus regarding a consumer's payment history, causing inaccurate information to show up on the person's credit report.

If this happens, the consumer may not be out of luck or options. He or she may be able to work with a credit repair attorney to dispute a questionable or unfair mark that appears on a credit report in error. Removing these blemishes may be the boost the consumer needs to repair other facets of his or her credit standing.