A study released Monday by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shows that many consumers could be paying more for their credit - from student loans, to mortgages and interest rates - than they need to. The FTC found that more than 40 million Americans had an error on at least one of their three credit reports, emphasizing the need for consumers to check their credit reports for mistakes that can cost them.

 "It is highly concerning that so many consumers across the country are carrying mistakes on their credit reports that can cost them every day," said Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, in a press release. "Consumers shouldn't be denied a loan or pay higher interest fees because of a reporting mistake - especially when these errors can be identified and corrected through your free credit report."

 The study also found that one in four consumers identified errors on their credit reports that might affect their credit scores.

 Consumers Union has launched a national "Know Your Score" campaign urging lawmakers to require three major credit reporting agencies to give consumers credible and trustworthy credit scores free along with their credit reports.

 For more information on free credit reports and scores, visit www.defendyourdollars.org.