Any Arizona consumer who ever applied for a loan or credit card knows that the credit bureaus have a lot of power. The information that these companies gather on you determines whether or not you get approved. Recently, after the Equifax data breach was revealed to the public, many Arizona resident have started to question the power wielded by the credit bureaus. After all, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian (the three major credit bureaus) are private companies. Nobody elects them, so why do they have so much authority and control over sensitive consumer information?
Also, Arizona consumers have another reason to be suspicious of the credit bureaus. Their problems don’t end with security breaches. In fact, the credit reporting agencies are notorious for mishandling consumer information and creating credit report errors. With this in mind, all Arizona consumers should keep careful tabs on their credit reports. It doesn’t seem like the credit bureaus are going anywhere any time soon. Therefore, the only way to catch and fix credit report errors and identity theft damage is to check your credit reports on a regular basis.
For Arizona Consumers Who Want to Know How the Credit Bureaus Make Money
In 2016, Equifax’s reported income was around $3.1 billion. TransUnion apparently earned $1.7 billion, while Experian pulled in a whopping $4.34 billion. How? The process is fairly simple. Creditors report consumer activity to the credit bureaus. Then, the credit reporting agencies put all of this information together and create credit reports. Next, the credit bureaus sell the finished credit reports back to the creditors.
Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian make most of their money by selling credit reports in bulk to banks and credit card companies. These organizations want to sell loans and credit cards to certain types of Arizona consumers, so they ask the credit bureaus for potential customers with certain qualities. For example, they may ask for credit reports belonging to consumers who are between the ages of 25 and 35, with credit scores about 650.
Credit reports (and credit scores) are also sold to lenders and credit card companies when Arizona residents apply for loans or credit cards. In addition, a lot of Arizona employers purchase credit reports belonging to job applicants when they make hiring decisions. It is also common for cell phone service providers and other utility companies to pull consumer credit reports in order to determine rates.
Finally, the credit bureaus make money by selling credit reports, credit freezes, and monitoring services to Arizona consumers. All consumers may request one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months. Yet, fees are charged for extra credit reports and for credit scores. Right now, Equifax offers free year of its credit monitoring service, and they have also waived fees for credit freezes. However, these freebies are temporary.
How Federal Statutes Protect Arizona Consumers Against the Credit Bureaus
Unfortunately, when hackers breach credit bureau security systems, exposed consumers go largely unprotected. Identity thieves steal Social Security numbers, credit card information, and other types of sensitive data. Then, consumers must assume vigilance to control the damage. That is, Arizona consumers must look for fraudulent items on their credit reports, then report suspicious items.
Luckily, a federal statute called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles all consumers, in Arizona and other states, to accurate credit reports. This means that the credit reporting agencies must remove bogus accounts opened by identity thieves, as well as fraudulent transactions. The FCRA also demands the removal of mistakes and errors caused by creditors and the credit bureaus. This is important because many of these inaccuracies are harmful to credit scores.
Fortunately, thanks to another federal statute known as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), Arizona consumers can check their credit reports for free every 12 months. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com, to request credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
Then, if you find errors, mistakes, or identity theft damage on any of your credit reports, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Arizona. When you contact our firm, an experienced credit attorney will resolve your credit issues and get you clean credit reports for FREE.
How Arizonians can Get a Free Credit Repair Lawyer
Don’t let fraudulent items or errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (480) 771-6001 or contact us on our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit https://creditrepairlawyersam.com/arizona/credit-repair/. Or, to learn more about Free Credit Repair After Identity Theft, check out https://creditrepairlawyersam.com/arizona/fix-identity-theft/.