CFPB Is Helping Consumers Check Their Specialty Credit Reports

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By Consumers Union on Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Most consumers know that they can check their credit reports with the “big three” credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, once a year, for free, at annualcreditreport.com. But, there are dozens more companies that may collect and report important information about you – and it’s important to check those reports, too. (Note that these specialty agencies aren’t covered by the “big three” credit bureaus’ recent settlement with New York State and the separate agreement with 31 other states).

The CFPB is making it easier for you to check your files with these “specialty” consumer reporting agencies. Last week, it released a consumer advisory, “Fact check your specialty consumer report”, and offers a “List of consumer reporting agencies” featuring instructions on obtaining your reports, so that you can make sure the information they have on file is correct.

These companies collect extensive information, including your employment history, criminal history, insurance claims, checking account history, and utilities payment history. It’s very important that these reports are accurate, because potential employers, landlords, and insurance companies, and those interested in extending you credit may view them.

Consumer reporting agencies are required by law to provide a report to you upon request, once every 12 months. Some may charge you a fee. But unlike with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, you don’t obtain those reports through annualcreditreport.com – you have to contact them directly to request it. The CFPB is helping to make it easier to contact those companies.

Be sure to check these reports once a year. And, tell us about your experience obtaining them and their accuracy – share your story!

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