Why Disputing an Error in Your Credit Report Has Been a Frustrating Experience

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has warned companies that provide information to credit bureaus that they need to do a better job of investigating mistakes in credit reports.

If you’ve ever tried to fix a mistake on a credit report, until very recently, any proof you submitted to back up your complaint might have been ignored.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which regulates the credit reporting agencies that issue credit reports, has shed some light on how those complaints have been handled and has warned that things had better improve.

The CRAs handle only about 15 percent of consumer disputes themselves, the CFPB says, and use an electronic system called e-OSCAR to pass on the rest to “furnishers” — the companies that provide credit information to the CRAs and are supposed to investigate consumers’ complaints, including any information provided by the consumer.

But the CRAs weren’t passing on that information, because the system they built didn’t allow it.

“In a December 2012 report, the CFPB highlighted the fact that the ‘e-OSCAR’ system did not provide a means for credit reporting companies to forward to furnishers any documents submitted by consumers,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says.

“Four companies built and still own e-OSCAR – Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion. The current Internet-based system was created in 2001,” that December report says.

Since then, the CFPB has been helping the credit bureaus improve e-OSCAR, and it can now pass on the evidence. “Equifax, Experian and TransUnion last month started to pass along documents submitted by consumers, such as proof of repaid debt, to the bank or debt collector with responsibility for investigating the dispute,” The Wall Street Journal says. The CFPB assumed oversight of CRAs last year.

But a new agency bulletin suggests there are still problems with the way complaints are being handled. It specifically calls for furnishers to investigate consumer concerns and report investigation results back to the credit reporting agencies. It threatens legal action against those who don’t.

Credit report errors can have serious consequences. “Most decisions to grant credit – including mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards, and private student loans – include information contained in credit reports as part of the lending decision,” the CFPB says. “These reports are also used in other spheres of decision-making, including eligibility for rental housing, setting premiums for auto and homeowners insurance in some states, or determining whether to hire an applicant for a job.”

Of course, CRAs aren’t best known for promptly fixing mistakes. A jury awarded one woman $18.6 million from Equifax because the credit reporting agency failed — for two years — to correct inaccuracies she said were on her report, including basic stuff like an incorrect Social Security number.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Lookin’ Good! How to Get a Killer Deal on Eyeglasses

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,977 more deals!