ARLINGTON, Va. (3/24/15)--After more than a decade of filing complaints about errors--and getting nowhere--consumers are about to get relief. Under a new agreement, credit rating agencies will be required to conduct independent reviews of complaints, correct the reports and change the way they treat medical debt (PBS News Hour March 9).
The three largest credit rating agencies (CRAs)--Equifax, TransUnion and Experian--were relying on lenders to provide data, without conducting independent reviews. Consumers would find errors in their credit reports and submit documentation of proof to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but nothing would change.
The new agreement, which begins in six months and lasts three years, brings the changes consumers have been waiting for: The agencies will be required to use specially trained employees to conduct an independent review of every complaint.
In addition to independent reviews, consumers can expect:
The FTC estimates that 10 million Americans have errors significant enough to affect the cost of borrowing.
Request your free credit report from all three agencies once a year. Always make your requests from annualcreditreport.com, the only site sanctioned by the FTC, or, call 877-322-8228. Better yet, monitor your credit report year round by making one request every four months in rotation among the three CRAs.
For related information, read "Six Slam-Dunk Ways to Trash Your Credit Score" in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.