Consumer Reports study finds surge in complaints about credit report errors

Here.  Excerpt:

[F]or the past three years, having incorrect information on a report has been the No. 1 complaint made to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to CFPB data compiled by Consumer Reports. What’s more, the number of complaints about credit report errors more than doubled in recent years, from 165,129 in 2021 to 443,321 in 2023, according to CR’s figures.

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Increasingly, the big three credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—use an automated decision-making process (in lieu of human employees) to screen initial consumer disputes to determine whether they meet their criteria for further investigation, according to a 2023 report by the CFPB on credit report errors.

The problem is that automated systems may mistakenly dismiss disputes made to the credit bureaus that should in fact be investigated. According to consumer complaints made to the CFPB that were highlighted in their report, some people received automated denials of their disputes within hours.

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The industry blames another factor: social media influencers and credit repair companies that tell consumers to file CFPB complaints if there is a negative item on their credit report, whether it’s in error or not, says Sheila Greenwood, spokesperson for the Consumer Data Industry Association, which represents the three big credit bureaus.

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