What Proportion of Consumers With Material Errors in Their Credit Reports Complain to Credit Bureaus?

by Jeff Sovern

For the credit reporting section of our casebook, I've been looking into studies of credit report errors.  The FTC is in the process of conducting a long-term study of that subject, and along the way has conducted some pilot studies.  One such pilot study subjected the credit reports of 128 people to in-depth review.  Though 88 reports did not contain errors, 40 consumers found alleged mistakes they wanted to dispute, of which 15 were material.  The researchers assisted the consumers claiming material errors to complain to credit bureaus, and 12 did so. Of those, the requested changes were made in seven cases, and partly made in three others.  In two cases, no changes were made.  The pilot study is probably too small to draw conclusions about how common credit report errors are, though the final FTC study should not suffer from that weakness, and other studies have also been larger.  The thing that caught my eye about this study was that not all the consumers with material errors were willing to complain about them to credit bureaus, even when they had assistance in doing so. Again, 15 consumers is too small a sample size to conclude much, but the study does make me wonder how many consumers don't bother complaining about errors, especially when they don't have assistance.  An ample literature on consumer complaining behavior makes clear that many consumers don't complain about issues (the classic article is Best & Andreason, Consumer Response to Unsatisfactory Purchases: A Survey of Perceiving Defects, Voicing Complaints, and Obtaining Redress, 11 Law & Soc. Rev. 701 (1977)), and it seems entirely plausible that it is no different for credit reports for at least some consumers.   

0 thoughts on “What Proportion of Consumers With Material Errors in Their Credit Reports Complain to Credit Bureaus?

  1. Danny says:

    I have used that it’s really good, it’s more of a do-it yourself type of thing instead of dealing with a bunch of disbarred lawyers to help you clean up your credit.
    The university part part of the site has a lot of info too I agree, but there is even more inside when you sign up and they walk you through everything.

  2. Alex says:

    Very informative and I agree that the more people who know about this sort of thing the better! Thank you. In my recent searches I also found a lot of good information pretaining to this subject when I googled the credit locker university.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *