CFPB Warns Specialty Credit Reporting Agencies: You’ve Gotta Issue Free Annual Reports, Too

Oh, hey, specialty credit reporting companies. Whatcha doing? Just hanging out? That’s great. Listen, just an FYI, you need to be issuing free credit reports to your customers, too. Nope, it’s not just the three largest credit reporting companies, you’re all in the same boat. Our pals at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are here to remind you, in case you’d conveniently forgotten.

Informed consumers should know that Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are all required to give customers a free annual report, but the big three aren’t alone, pipes up the CFPB in a bulletin to those smaller companies that track rent payments, employment history and insurance claims.

Many of those aren’t doing so, which goes against the law. Not only that, but those firms need to make it easy for consumers to get those reports and include a toll-free number for such requests.

In a blog post on the topic, the CFPB explains what consumers might be dealing with:

These are companies that collect information on a nationwide basis about medical records or payments, residential or tenant history, check-writing history, employment history, or insurance claims. Like the three largest nationwide consumer reporting companies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), they gather and report information about you to creditors, landlords, insurance companies, employers, and others.

To help identify such companies, the CFPB has included a list on the blog post of about 40 firms that must provide free annual reports. It also sent letters to six unnamed companies, warning them they might not be in full compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

You have a right to see specialty consumer reports too [ConsumerFinance.gov]