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Of 211 credit reports where there was a dispute and a credit score was ultimately changed, 29 percent had a score change of more than 25 points.
The Dodd-Frank financial reform act gave the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau enforcement authority over the credit bureaus, along with the FTC.
Most people ignore reports
Richard Cordray, head of the consumer finance watchdog agency, has highlighted accuracy as a key area of concern. In December his agency released its own analysis of credit reports, noting that they are dominated by information supplied by the credit card industry and that fewer than one in five people get copies of their credit reports each year.
Wu, at the National Consumer Law Center, said her group is pushing for a number of reforms, such as requiring stricter matching criteria when credit bureaus collect data from mortgage lenders, debt collectors, credit card issuers and public records and put the information into a consumer’s credit report.
Wu said credit reporting agencies should actually perform the meaningful investigations they are required to pursue when consumers report errors.
Right now, she said, the credit bureaus turn mistakes into two- or three-digit codes with a line of text and send them to whoever supplied the information, such as a debt collector, and typically accept whatever the supplier tells them.
“It’s a travesty,” Wu said. “That has been very high on our list of necessary reforms.”
Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683