Among the many institutions that have been targeted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the three major credit reporting bureaus are now being heavily scrutinized. TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax have all been fined and advised to “improve their quality control systems.” This may be good news for Georgia residents who are trying to improve their credit scores. For far too long, consumers have had to struggle with inaccurate credit reports and a faulty error disputing process. Now, it looks like the credit reporting process may be changing for the better. That is, as long as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is permitted to stay intact and functional.
Problems that Georgia Consumers Have Had with Credit Reporting Practices
Over the past five years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has discovered “many problems” with the credit reporting market. According to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, these problems are currently being addressed and corrected. As Cordray puts it, the CFPB is “moving the needle in a more positive direction.”
For Georgia consumers who may be struggling with low credit scores, this may be a relief. Granted, a lot of the credit issues plaguing Georgians are legitimate. The overall economy is improving in the Peach State, but many residents are still recovering from bouts of joblessness. The average amount of credit card debt per household is also very high in Georgia.
These factors make it extra crucial for Georgians to get a fair shake with their credit reports. Consumers who are already struggling with bad credit don’t need credit reporting errors to bring their credit scores down even more. Rather, when a Georgian requests a copy of any of their credit reports, they should receive an accurate record of their credit history. This would allow them to see what they need to work on, as well as the progress they’ve made so far.
Yet, sadly, this has not always been the case. In the past, and even currently, Georgia consumers have had to deal with the following:
- Poor quality control systems at all three major credit bureaus.
- A frustrating and time-consuming credit report error disputing process.
- Poor communication between lenders and credit bureaus, and among the credit bureaus themselves.
- Inconsistent and deceptive practices.
So far, the credit bureaus have been fined for misrepresenting the type of credit score they were selling to consumers. They have also been forced to change their credit reporting policies. Because of these changes, many consumers will see tax liens and civil judgments fall off their credit reports soon.
Cordray also wants consumers to be more directly involved in the credit reporting market. With this goal in mind, the CFPB will focus a lot of energy on providing education for consumers. Three points are to be stressed:
- The importance of regularly checking credit reports.
- The fact that consumers are entitled to free annual credit reports from each of the major credit reporting bureaus.
- The exact process involved in disputing errors found on credit reports.
Hopefully, the CFPB will be successful with their goals. It should be noted that the current presidential administration wants to minimize the influence of the bureau. There are also plans to replace Director Cordray or eliminate the office entirely. Meanwhile, because big changes always take a while to put into effect, and because the CFPB is under scrutiny, consumers should know their rights. Regardless of what happens with the credit bureaus, Georgia consumers are protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This is a federal statute that entitles you to accurate credit reports. It’s up to you to check these credit reports, identify errors, and dispute them using the appropriate process.
You can also get a FREE credit repair lawyer to help with all of this.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let debt collections and 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 cases that are settled. 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 (248) 353-2882 or sending him a message through our contact page.