Maxine Waters proposes consumer-friendly overhaul of credit reporting industry

The heads of the three leading credit reporting companies heard bipartisan criticism as Waters, the veteran Los Angeles Democrat, launched her first major legislative initiative as chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee.

“To credit reporting bureaus, consumers aren’t consumers. They are commodities,” Waters said, adding that dissatisfied Americans can’t just take their business to another company.

Although Equifax, Experian and TransUnion collect information from banks and other firms about Americans — their payment history on mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and other debt — they have little direct relationship with consumers. Their customers are the companies seeking a consumer’s credit history.

“This commodification of consumers and their personal data is the core reason why our nation’s consumer credit reporting system is broken,” she said.