The CFPB just announced their new online credit report complaint database. Credit reporting agencies like TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, provide reports and credit scores that effectively tell lenders what sort of human being you are. Your credit reports influence whether or not you can get credit, insurance and even a job. They are the sole basis for your credit scores, which are used to set terms for loans, insurance and rent.
And while the credit reporting agencies strive to maintain accurate data, mistakes do happen. Unfortunately, the true percentage of credit reports with errors still eludes us. One study suggests that 70% of credit reports have errors while another has the figure at less than 1%, neither of which is likely close to being accurate.
Earlier this week the CFPB inserted itself in the credit report accuracy discussion by launching its latest complaint portal for consumers, allowing them to quickly and easily register their grievance in a way that requires the agencies to respond. The complaint database focuses on more than just credit report accuracy. The database will take fraud, credit monitoring service, consumer disclosure, and improper access complaints.
It’s the logical next step in the ongoing evolution of the CFPB’s actions regarding credit reports and credit scores. The idea to take complaints about all facets of credit reporting rather than just file accuracy was a very smart move on the CFPB’s part. The assumption that all we care about is the accuracy of our credit reports is wrong. There will likely be a large percentage of consumers who will file what they believe to be legitimate complaints that will really be more in line with their displeasure of what’s accurately on their credit reports, thus creating some false positives. As with other CFPB complaint databases the consumer’s submission will be forwarded to the company in question, thus giving the dispute a more visible nature.
Credit Reporting Expert, John Ulzheimer, is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, and a Contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. Follow him on Twitter here.
It’s always comforting to hear when further actions are taken to increase the security of our credit reports.