By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Federal Trade Commission study of the U.S. credit reporting industry has found that one in five consumers had an error in a credit report and five percent had errors that could lead to them paying more for products such as auto loans and insurance.
The study looked at reports for 1,001 consumers issued by the three major agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The FTC hired researchers to help consumers identify potential errors.
In September, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gained the authority to write and enforce rules for the credit reporting industry and to monitor the compliance of the three agencies. Prior to that, the reporting agencies weren’t subject to ongoing monitoring by federal examiners.
The agencies have 15 days to respond to the complaints with a plan for fixing the problem; consumers can dispute that response. About 10 percent of consumers had their credit score changed after a reporting agency corrected errors in their reports.
The findings underline the importance of consumers checking their credit reports. Consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report each year from each of the three reporting agencies.
You can obtain your FREE report online ONLY AT: www.annualcreditreport.com