The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a new analysis that accuses the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—of routinely failing to fully respond to consumers who have found errors on their credit reports. The three credit bureaus reported fixing less than 2% of complaints in 2021—down from nearly 25% in 2019, according to the CFPB report.
“America’s credit reporting oligopoly has little incentive to treat consumers fairly when their credit reports have errors,” says CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, adding that the CFPB’s report is “further evidence of the serious harms stemming from their faulty financial surveillance business model.”
Credit reports play a critical role when lenders determine whether a person qualifies for a mortgage or for the best interest rates, and inaccuracies can drive up the costs of financing. Credit reporting also can inform decisions about employment, insurance, and utilities.
Consumers may submit complaints to the credit bureaus about inaccurate information on their credit and consumer reports. The CFPB’s analysis, however, found that the three companies failed to provide substantive responses, particularly when complaints were sent by third parties on the behalf of the consumer.
CFPB found that Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion relied heavily on template complaint responses instead of providing thorough responses to consumers. Equifax and TransUnion were the most likely to promise investigations of complaints but fail to provide any outcomes, the report notes.