A credit report mistake made by a financing organization has cost a Manitoba family thousands of dollars and has cast a cloud over its Christmas.

In June 2008, Nancy Klassen, who lives near Morris, says her family paid off a GM minivan. But when they went to get a lower interest rate on a home they've lived in for 16 years, they were denied.

The family found out GMAC Financial had put a mark on its credit report saying they were in arrears on car payments, says Klassen.

"We paid...and we paid early," says Klassen.

With such a bad credit score, the Klassen family could only get a mortgage at 15 per cent, paying more than $1,500 each month.

After months of corresponding with GMAC Financial, the group admitted to the family it made a mistake but will not give compensation until a new mortgage is secured.

"If I cannot get a different mortgage, what bearing does that have on what you've already done to me?" asks Nancy.

The Klassen family has made a $935 dollar payment towards its current mortgage but is worried about being hit with foreclosure proceedings if it can't come up with the rest.

The family hopes to find out in the next few days if it can get a different mortgage.

GMAC Financial fixed the Klassen family's credit score but did not respond to CTV's questions on the matter of compensation.

Financial councillor Yvonne Neu advises people to check their credit score, through organizations such as Equifax or TransUnion, before they even need to get a loan.

Information on credit and financial counselling is also available by contacting Community Financial Counselling Services, a non-profit group, at 989-1900, or toll-free at 1-888-573-2383. Information is also available online at www.cfcs.mb.ca

- with a report from CTV's Eleanor Coopsammy