How to fight back against disastrous credit report errors

We here at WalletPop keep telling you how important your credit score is, but what's a hardworking American to do if there's a mistake on that all-important score -- one that could be costing them valuable points that could translate into a better rate on a mortgage, car loan or credit card? WalletPop interviewed several, very average Americans who found and confronted a credit report mistake. They shared their stories -- and their solutions -- so you won't find yourself in the same situation.

Shocking situation
When artist Joe Bagley checked his credit score in January, he said he was "shocked" by the results. Why? "One of the reports said we had currently used up more than 45% of our available credit," he explains, adding that he knew he only had about $2,000 in credit card debt, a balance he was actively paying down.

Panicked, Bagley's first thought was that someone had stolen one of his cards and run up a huge balance. A little digging into the credit report soon solved the mystery: Bagley's highest-limit card, one with a $15,000 credit limit, was listed on the report as having a limit of zero, seriously skewing his overall utilization ratio. He says he contacted all three credit bureaus online and asked that they fix the problem, which he estimates took about three weeks to resolve.