Even a small inaccuracy on a consumer’s credit report can have long-lasting negative affects. From the most simple computer error to mixing up individual’s data, credit reporting agencies have been known to be hard to work with when trying to fix incorrect data. But that could all change under legislation introduced today that aims to ensure issues like these don’t happen.
More than 64 million Americans are cut off from access to traditional banking because they lack credit history. To better serve these unbanked consumers financial institutions are relying on the promises of big data brokers to accurately determine the creditworthiness of consumers. But is the new method a reliable way to provide affordable access to credit? Not really, a new report by the National Consumer Law Center points out. [More]
A 46-year-old woman near St. Louis would like to to refinance her mortgage and maybe get some new credit cards. She can’t, though. As far as her bank and the credit bureau Equifax are concerned, she’s dead. [More]
Like it or hate it, your credit report and credit score have lots of power. These may determine whether or not you’re approved for a mortgage, car loan, or other borrowing, and will determine the interest rates on your credit cards. This information is often even used when you’re evaluated for an apartment, insurance or a job, or try to get a bank account. That’s why it’s incredibly important to check your credit report for errors, as mistakes on your report can haunt every part of your financial life for years. [More]
How do you prove you didn’t commit a crime if your accuser won’t tell you which crime you’ve been accused of committing? That’s the problem facing a New Jersey who has spent months trying to convince a shady credit reporting company that he is not the criminal that is showing up in their records. [More]
More than 1-in-4 credit reports contain some sort of error, according to a recent Federal Trade Commission report, but one can’t lay all the blame at the feet of the three major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, Equifax — as the companies that supply this information are not always fulfilling their legal obligation to investigate disputes by consumers. [More]
There’s major consumer victory news from Oregon: a woman who discovered huge errors in her Equifax credit report and couldn’t get them fixed was awarded a total of $18.6 million in damages. She contacted Equifax eight times about the errors between 2009 and 2011, but they remained on her report. [More]
Everyone has that one relative who was an adult during the Great Depression and hid boxes of cash all over the house because they didn’t trust banks. Someday, your own descendants might share tales of weird old Aunt Mykayla, who entered the workforce during the Great Recession and refused to get credit cards or even buy a car. [More]
Consider the following: 1-in-10 insurance claims are processed incorrectly; debt collectors are using account information that may be incomplete, inaccurate and out-of-date; once reported to a credit bureau, medical debt — whether real or erroneous — can do severe damage to your credit score. Perhaps it couldn’t hurt to give consumers a chance to challenge or resolve medical debts before collectors report them to the credit bureaus? [More]
Here’s the thing with credit histories: it’s easy to fall behind on your bills when you don’t have a job. The reduced income (or total lack of income) really works against you. While half of all companies report that they check the credit reports of at least some prospective employees, there isn’t really any solid evidence that correlates bad credit with being a bad employee. [More]
Robert and his wife aren’t poor: they’re currently in the process of buying a vacation home. His wife opened up a Macy’s credit card in order to get an additional discount, because yay for discounts! Robert set up “green” or paperless billing after gaining online access to the account, but it turned out to be more like billess billing: they never saw any bills. Should they have noticed that no bills were coming and checked their spam folders? Maybe. But no bills came.
It’s a nightmarish scenario — you pay your credit card bills, car payments and loans all time, but when your credit report arrives… WHAM. Medical debt rears its ugly head and mucks up your life in a real way — even if you pay it. After hearing from one Consumerist reader who was shocked to discover a major dent in his credit score because of one $72 hospital bill, we asked for more stories from our readers to highlight what a very real problem this is.
Yesterday someone released the private information of more than a dozen celebrities online, posting their phone numbers, mortgages, and Social Security numbers. Although the word “hack” has been used, it’s a surprisingly very easy process to go from a city’s mortgage registry to a plethora of other personal information. We’ll let Buzzfeed explain. [Buzzfeed]
Right now, U.S. consumers can check each of their three credit reports — from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian — once a year for free through AnnualCreditReport.com, but getting your actual credit score will probably cost you. Legislation introduced today seeks to remedy this issue.
You should really check your credit reports at least once a year. If you don’t believe us, you should check out the results of the Federal Trade Commission’s latest study, which shows just how rife with errors the reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion can be. [More]
Equifax also operates an employment verification database that contains sensitive employment information for more than 1/3 of all employed Americans. Aside from being a huge pinata just waiting for a hacker’s swing, it’s unclear exactly what info is being sold to third parties. [More]