Mistakes happen to everyone, but mistakes on your credit report can have far-reaching consequences. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now giving consumers federal-level recourse against mistakes made by credit reporting agencies.
The credit reporting industry is generally dominated by the three largest agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, which collectively issue more than 3 billion consumer reports a year and maintain files on more than 200 million Americans, according to the CFPB.
For the first time, consumers will now be able to report complaints about credit reporting agencies directly to the CFPB. The latest announcement expands services that CFPB offers consumers. The agency already handles complaints on credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and services, consumer loans, and private student loans.
“Credit reporting companies exert great influence over the lives of consumers. They help determine eligibility for loans, housing, and sometimes jobs,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a press release. “Consumers need an avenue of recourse when they feel they have been wronged.”
Before consumers take their complaints to the federal level, the CFPB encourages consumers to file an initial dispute with the credit agency. If the dispute is not resolved, consumers can consult the CFPB with issues such as:
- Incorrect information on a credit report
- A consumer reporting agency’s investigation
- The improper use of a credit report
- Being unable to get a copy of a credit score or file
- Problems with credit monitoring or identify protection services
To file a credit reporting complaint, consumers can:
- File online at www.consumerfinance.gov/Complaint
- Call 1-855-411-CFPB (2372) or TTY/TDD phone number at 1-855-729-CFPB (2372) or fax to 1-855-237-2392
- Mail a letter to: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244