On January 3, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new report assessing the state of the nation’s credit reporting system, particularly the work of the three national credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Compared to last year’s dismal report, the results are encouraging.
While there is still a ton of work to be done, the bureaus seem to have taken some steps in the right direction. The complaints, lawsuits, and more positively affect the individual consumers and the system as a whole.
In last year’s report, CFPB described how consumers were outraged by the behavior of three national credit bureaus. The consumers complained that they had many problems with their credit reports, from mixed files—when other people’s information was on their record—to information that suggested paid-off debts were still due and more. And the bureaus did next to nothing when consumers complained. Most of the time, consumers just received a generic, boilerplate response to their complaints—even though a substantive response is usually required by law.
By contrast, in 2022, the CFPB found that the bureaus have decreased their reliance on generic replies, and, instead, most consumers are now getting substantive responses. In September of last year, consumers received a response tailored to their issue for more than 50% of the complaints that were closed or where relief was given.
Another positive sign: More consumers received help from the bureaus. TransUnion reported that it provided some relief for the majority of complaining consumers. Experian said it had given some relief to nearly half of those who complained.
In years past, the bureaus had claimed they had helped so few consumers because their complaints lacked merit. Now it is more difficult for them to continue to make that claim.
While progress has been made, if half of the consumers were helped last year, that still means half did not get the relief they deserved. And even for those who were helped, the CFPB said they often endured a frustrating process, having to complain to multiple entities to get the necessary corrections.
That’s why, if you do see mistakes on your credit report, get help having your information corrected. Contact an attorney who specializes in representing clients like you. A lawyer can not only help you repair your record, but they can also help you obtain compensation for any damages you sustained.