Credit Bureaus On Alert
It’s finally happened, and I for one can’t be more pleased. Last week it was announced that as of September 30th credit bureaus will now have to deal with government oversight of their practices, which includes their accuracy and how they calculate credit scores. This is in response to years of complaints by consumers and consumer groups that have lamented how far apart some of these agencies are in tracking what goes on with a person’s credit history and other information that’s off by a mile, as well as the lack of speed in resolving issues when consumers attempt to correct errors on those reports.
It’s about time. I know that I’m not the only person that’s obtained a credit report, looked at it, and saw something that wasn’t correct. For years I had something on my credit report that had been paid off since 2004, with a letter and everything, yet I couldn’t get it off all 3 reports of credit agencies. Every once in awhile I’d get another letter from some collection agency trying to collect on it, even though it was totally taken care of.
And when it comes to credit scores, though I don’t know how I’m viewed across the board, it’s true that a person can have a credit score from one agency that’s more than 150 points off from the others. How they do this is incredible since everyone’s supposed to be using the same calculations, and goes back to why I’ve always said that, in my opinion, credit scores are worthless.
Also, there’s a time limit on how long these agencies are supposed to keep information on you, and what information they’re allowed to keep. I’ve lived in my present location for 12 years, yet my Experian credit report still lists places I’ve lived previously, which isn’t supposed to be on there. And let’s not look at my name, which has many iterations because credit card companies, trying to get me to sign up for new cards, often get my name wrong. So those aren’t my aliases; it’s credit card company errors creating that. You should see how many names my wife has because of this.
Frankly, I don’t know why there needs to be 3 agencies to begin with. If I had my way, this would be one of the few times where I’d ask for the government to run this program, since I tend to believe that these companies, which sell your information even though you never gave them permission to do so, care more about the bottom line than getting it right. At the same time, I’m also not so sure I like the idea of the government tracking my credit history either, even though I’m not naive enough to believe that some agency isn’t doing it anyway.
Regardless, come September 30th we’ll have an advocate in the government trying to make sure these folks get it right; thank goodness.