Category Archives: News

Popular English Surnames Can Lead to Credit Report Problems

What’s the most common last name in the United States? If you guessed Smith, you are correct. Nearly three million people in the country have that surname. The name of Smith originated in England, where over 600,000 people bear that moniker today. Other common English last names include Jones, Taylor, Brown, Williams, Wilson, Johnson, Davies, […]

Common French Surnames Can Cause Credit History Problems

The nation of France is known for its contributions to art and culture, from the architectural marvels of the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles to the fashion runways of Paris to the masterpieces in the Louvre Museum. And don’t forget the food and wine! The people of France have a lot to be […]

Credit Bureaus Removing Some Medical Debt from Credit Reports

In May 2022, the three national credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, removed unpaid medical debts of less than $500 from American consumers’ reports. According to the government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), this move will impact approximately 22.8 million consumers. While more needs to be done, this is a major step in the right direction. […]

New Report Reviews the Biggest Data Breaches of 2022 (and so far, for 2023)

It’s astonishing how frequently revelations of a data breach have hit the news. But these events are so frequent they may get less media coverage than they warrant. That can hurt consumers—because if you’re not aware of breaches, you won’t know that your data has been compromised and take steps to protect yourself from identity […]

A Record Year of Complaints for the Three National Credit Bureaus

Credit Bureaus are the worst. That isn’t just hyperbole. That’s the finding from a new U.S. PIRG Education Fund analysis. Confirming what you already knew, PIRG reviewed complaints made to U.S. financial firms—regarding everything from student loans to credit cards. And PIRG concluded that the “Big 3” credit bureaus received more complaints than any other […]

CFPB Orders Portfolio Recovery to Pay More than $24 Million (Part 2)

In March 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an order against Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA), one of the nation’s largest debt collection agencies. In our previous post, we addressed how PRA had violated a previous order and provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In this post, we’ll explore how this order affects impacted […]

CFPB Orders Portfolio Recovery to Pay More than $24 Million (Part 1)

In March 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that it was ordering Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA) to pay millions to consumers. The Bureau stated that PRA had been engaging in numerous violations of law. And what made the order even more surprising is that PRA had already been fined in 2015 for other violations—so […]

Most Popular Irish Surnames

They say that everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but what about the folks who are Irish all year long? Today we’re taking a look at some of the most common Irish surnames, as well as the meanings behind those family names. Murphy Ireland’s most common surname means “descendant of sea […]

What Is “Synthetic Identify Theft” and How Can It Impact Me?

“Synthetic identity theft” is when a fraudster combines real information about someone—such as a Social Security number—and information they’ve created about an entirely fake person. They then use these  “Frankenstein IDs” to commit theft. Some analysts have concluded that synthetic identity theft is the fastest-growing financial crime in the United States. At the same time, […]