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Disputes on Consumer Credit Reports

Because of the importance of credit reporting to the consumer finance system, the accuracy of credit reports is a perennial policy concern. Studies have found that a substantial minority of consumers have errors on their credit reports with the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), including errors substantial enough to meaningfully affect consumers’ credit scores. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, complaints to the CFPB about credit reporting issues have spiked, with credit reporting complaints increasing year-to-year by 129 percent in 2020 and becoming the most common complaint topic. This report uses data on auto loan, student loan, general purpose credit card, and retail card accounts opened between 2012 and 2019, and looks at the demographic characteristics of disputers and the outcomes for accounts with dispute flags.

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