Errors and other problems with credit reporting agencies are increasing. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tracks complaints it receives from consumers regarding mortgages, credit cards, student loans and other financial products and services. But most recently it has detected an upswing in complaints targeting the three major credit reporting bureaus.
The CFPB saw a 56 percent increase in the number of credit reporting complaints submitted by consumers between June 2015 (4,289 complaints) — and July 2015 (6,969 complaints). For the period of May through July 2015, complaints increased by 45 percent compared to the prior year.
The top three companies that received the most complaints from March through May 2015 were Equifax, Experian, and Bank of America. Of the five most-complained-about companies, three of them — Equifax, Experian, and Transunion— make up the three top credit reporting companies, according to the CFPB’s latest report.
The majority of credit reporting complaints — 77 percent — submitted to the Bureau involve incorrect information on reports. Consumers frequently complain of debts already paid or debts not yet due showing up on their report, negatively affecting their credit scores, the CFPB says.
“Whether a consumer is trying to get a mortgage, apply for a student loan, or buy a car, credit reports are fundamentally important in allowing people to access their financial goals,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “As we see a rise in the number of consumers complaining about this issue, the Bureau will continue to work to ensure that credit reports are fair, accurate, and readily available to all consumers.”
Consumers also regularly report issues accessing their credit reports as a result of rigorous online identity authentication questions.
“If unable to access the reports over the Internet, consumers have to send copies of sensitive, identifying documents through the mail, which consumers feel is time-consuming and potentially unsecure,” the CFPB states.
The Bureau has published tips and guidance for how consumers can get and keep a good credit score.
Consumers can file a complaint with the CFPB here.