The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is putting creditors and other companies that supply information to consumer reporting companies on notice that they need to improve their practices.
If consumers have errors in their credit reports, they can be denied credit or the cost of their insurance or credit could be increased.
When consumers file a dispute with a consumer reporting company about errors or omissions in their credit report, the company must inform the furnisher about the dispute and forward all relevant information about the dispute to the furnisher.
After the furnisher receives the information, it must review it, conduct an investigation, and respond to the consumer reporting company.
The bureau issued a bulletin on the duties and responsibilities of furnishers when complaints are made about credit reports. It warns the companies that action will be taken if the law isn’t followed.
“It’s a clear signal that companies that have avoided close scrutiny for years are being held to a higher standard when it comes to how they treat consumers,” Consumers Union said. “We think that greater oversight of credit reporting is long overdue.”
See the 60 Minutes Overtime program, “The ONE Thing to Know About Your Credit Report,” for information on the difficulties consumers face when they attempt to get their credit reports corrected.
It’s recommended that consumers get a free copy of their credit report annually.
To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, call 877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Don’t contact the three credit reporting companies individually. They’re providing free annual credit reports only through annualcreditreport.com, 877-322-8228, or mailing to Annual Credit Report Request Service.
If you have a complaint about a credit reporting company, you can submit a complaint to the bureau. To submit a complaint, go consumerfinance.gov/complaint, call 855-411-2372, fax 855-237-2392, or send a letter to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.