Credit Reporting Errors Frustrate Consumers
One of the most frustrating things for consumers is trying to fix errors on their credit reports. It can be a long and difficult process, and often times it feels like you’re up against a brick wall. So why is it so hard to fix credit report errors?
For starters, credit reporting agencies are not required to investigate all disputes. The #FCRA, or Fair Credit Reporting Act, requires credit agencies to review all credit report disputes if the dispute is based on information accuracy – for example, an account that shows up on your credit report but you know for a fact you’ve paid off. However, credit reporting agencies are not required to investigate other types of credit disputes, such as certain issues with credit accounts or credit limit changes.
- See More On Credit Reporting: Covered Complaints
You Need A Credit Score For A Lot Of Things
In today’s world – getting a credit card, taking out a mortgage or car loan, even renting an apartment requires good credit. So it’s understandable that consumers want their credit reports and credit scores to be accurate and free of errors. What consumers don’t often realize is that credit errors left unresolved, can also have hidden costs.
Some consumers find that they get nowhere fast when trying to dispute credit report errors, either because the credit reporting agency doesn’t respond or simply dismisses their concerns.
Credit Bureaus Can’t Parrot Creditors
The credit bureaus aren’t in the business of taking sides. They’re merely supposed to report what they’re told by your creditors. So if you’re disputing an error with a creditor, don’t expect the credit bureau to just automatically take your word for it. You’ll need to provide documentation to support your dispute. Without this documentation, the credit bureau may not make any changes to your credit report. When disputes occur, there is a process that happens behind the scenes with checks and confirmations before a credit report is updated or corrected.
What happens in a credit report dispute
First, credit reporting agencies will investigate the credit dispute and determine whether or not the information on the credit report is accurate with the credit subscriber. If the credit agency finds that the information is inaccurate, they are supposed to correct it and notify you of the correction. However, if the credit agency finds that the information is accurate, they will not make any changes to your credit unless you provide them with additional documentation to prove that the credit reporting error is indeed an error. See where this is going?
Don’t Accept No for an Answer
Unfortunately, credit reporting is a notoriously flawed system, and fixing credit report errors can often be a challenging process. If you’re struggling to fix credit report errors on your own, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of success. Don’t accept a letter of no dispute from credit reporting agencies – keep disputing your credit report errors and advocate for yourself to the extent possible.
Credit bureaus don’t generate revenue from customer service
Credit bureaus make money by selling credit reports and credit scores to lenders, insurers, employers, and other businesses. They don’t generate revenue from customer service work like investigating disputes and correcting errors on credit reports. As a result, credit bureaus have little financial incentive to invest in efficient dispute resolution processes or to hire the staff needed to handle credit disputes promptly.
Andy Spears is a consumer protection advocate who often covers issues in his blog that impact consumers such as debt collection and credit reporting.
Spears says that “It is often necessary to be persistent when dealing with credit bureaus. Always communicate by certified mail. If you find a bureau nonresponsive, it may be necessary to file a complaint with the CFPB.”
If you’re getting nowhere with credit reporting agencies, your next step should be to contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB is a federal agency that has helped many consumers dispute credit report errors and get results. You can submit a complaint or question online.
Getting A Legal Opinion
Depending on your situation, it may be time to consult with an attorney who specializes in credit disputes. With legal knowledge of the FCRA and other laws governing credit reporting agencies, an experienced attorney can provide proper guidance on your rights as a consumer. This can also take your credit report dispute to the next level to get credit errors resolved once and for all. An experienced attorney can legally fight for the credit report changes you’re entitled to, ensuring that your credit reports are accurate and reflect the true state of your finances.
Led by attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with over 75 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm that is dedicated to helping our clients understand their legal rights under the law. If you feel you need an attorney, please contact us for a free consultation.
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