Over the last few years, Consumers Union has received over a thousand stories from consumers about their problems with credit reports and scores. Many consumers have told us that they found errors on their credit reports, and struggled to get them corrected.
Despite some real strides in recent months, including a major settlement over credit report mistakes between the “big 3” credit bureaus and 31 states (as well as a separate but similar settlement with New York State) new data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) suggests that the bureaus can still do more to reduce these errors.
Yesterday, the CFPB released new numbers showing that complaints about credit reporting are on the rise. It’s particularly bad in certain states: complaints were up 279% in Hawaii in May – July of 2015 compared to the same period last year. And credit reporting errors were the primary concern. Seventy-seven percent of the complaints to the CFPB about credit reporting in May through July of this year had to do with errors or incorrect information on the report.
Some consumers continue to have difficulty getting errors fixed. According to the CFPB, nine percent of the complaints about credit reporting referenced the error investigation process. Susan from Hilliard, OH, who used to work for a credit bureau, wrote to us recently and shared her experiences:
“The process for consumers to contest inaccurate information on their credit report is very inadequate, shamefully so in fact. I worked at one of the credit bureaus and was surprised at how insubstantial (and unfair) it is….More can be done to record the original source documents and eliminating mistaking assigning wrong information to people with similar names and such similar actions. Requiring the call-for-training for those handling the credit records that affect people’s lives would also be a great idea.”
We commend the CFPB for continuing to monitor the credit bureaus and for providing insight into the experiences of consumers. We’re pleased that the credit bureaus have, though the state settlements, made a commitment to improving credit reporting accuracy, but the CFPB’s data indicates that there’s still room for progress.
Have you experienced a problem with your credit report or credit score? Please share your story!