WASHINGTON (AP) -- A government study says 20 percent of consumers had an error in a credit report issued by a major agency.

The Federal Trade Commission study also says 5 percent of the consumers identified errors in their reports that could lead to them paying more for mortgages, auto loans, or other financial products.

The study looked at reports for 1,001 consumers issued by the three major agencies -- Equifax (NYSE:EFX), Experian (NASDAQOTH:EXPGF), and TransUnion. The FTC hired researchers to help consumers identify potential errors.

The study closely matches the results of a yearlong investigation by The Columbus Dispatch. The Ohio newspaper's report last year said that thousands of consumers were denied loans because of errors on their credit reports.

The FTC says the findings underline the importance of consumers checking their credit reports.

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