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This month’s Complaint Report: Credit reporting issues

When you make student loan payments on an income-driven plan, you might be in for a (payment) shock.

This month’s report puts the spotlight on credit reporting. Credit reports play a big part in major consumer lending decisions, including mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards and private student loans. The largest three nationwide credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) maintain credit files on nearly 210 million U.S. consumers.

In the past month, credit reporting complaints showed the greatest monthly percentage increase compared to other products the CFPB accepts complaints about (including debt collection, mortgages and credit cards – to name a few). Check out this month’s report to see trends across all consumer complaints.

Credit reporting highlights

  • Incorrect information: This is the number one complaint from consumers submitting credit reporting complaints. Incorrect information on your credit reports could cause a lender to offer you an interest rate that is less favorable than it otherwise could be. Watch this short video about Jorge, who tried unsuccessfully to remove an outdated bankruptcy from his credit report, before he got the help he needed from the CFPB.
  • Access to credit reports: Another common complaint is that rigorous identity authentication questions are preventing consumers from accessing their credit reports. See how to request a free credit report from each of the credit reporting companies.
  • Problems disputing errors with credit reporting companies: Consumers also report problems disputing errors directly with credit reporting companies. In particular, victims of identity theft often state they feel victimized a second time by their inability to correct inaccuracies in their reports with both credit reporting companies and lenders. See how you can spot identity theft and read how to dispute an error on your credit report with the credit reporting companies.
  • Here’s one complaint from our Consumer Complaint Database: “I had a credit report pulled with my financial institution and there was a social security number on it that does not belong to me…now his number is on my credit report from [credit reporting company]. I tried to call [credit reporting company] about this and only got a recording. I would like this person’s number off my credit report.”

If you have a complaint about credit reporting or any other financial product or service, you can submit a complaint to us online. We’ll forward it to the company and work to get you a response.

Geographic spotlight: Los Angeles

This month, we put the spotlight on Los Angeles, California. As of August 1, 2015, about 94,000 complaints (14 percent) of the 677,200 complaints we have handled have been from consumers in California. More than a third of those are from the Los Angeles area!

Look out for our next monthly complaint report

Our Office of Consumer Response hears directly from consumers about the challenges they face in the marketplace, brings their concerns to the attention of companies and assists in addressing their complaints. Next month we’ll highlight another consumer product and U.S city. Stay tuned!

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