Equifax is slapped with an $18.6 million judgment for mistakes on a woman's credit history, a case which has put the entire credit industry on high alert.

Its one of the largest consumer financial victories against a credit bureau involving an Oregon woman who repeatedly asked the company to correct errors such as false collection attempts, wrong Social Security number and date of birth.

“This particular lady had a very common surname in Miller, because of her adverse credit rating which was not accurate, she was not able to obtain credit and it adversely affected her business,” says John Heasley with the Texas Bankers Association.

He says the major credit bureaus are keeping close eye on Equifax's expected appeal.

“Every company in this business worries about liability, and they should be looking over their particular policies to make sure they're on the straight and narrow,” Heasley tells KTRH News.

The Federal Trade Commission recently found errors in 21-percent of requested credit reports.

“In this environment, because credit scores and credit reports are being used for so many purposes other than obtaining a mortgage, its good to annually check with these companies and make sure your credit is in good shape,” says Heasley.