Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has unveiled a monthly complaint snapshot disclosing consumer dissatisfaction about credit reporting system. The snapshot demonstrates that consumers keep struggling to resolve mistakes on their credit reports.
“Credit reports provide the means for consumers everywhere to take important steps in their financial lives,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The Bureau will continue to work to ensure that credit reports are accurate and when disputed issues arise on credit reports consumers are able to resolve them quickly and with little hassle.”
Category Spotlight: Credit Reporting
Credit reporting companies track the credit history and other information about consumers who are active in the financial marketplace. The credit reports produced by the reporting companies are used to judge a consumer’s eligibility to take out a mortgage, buy a car, and even get a job in some instances. As of Feb. 1, 2017, the Bureau had handled approximately 185,700 credit-reporting complaints. Some of the findings in the snapshot include:
- Consumers report problems disputing complaints on their credit reports: Complaints submitted to the Bureau indicate that consumers continue to experience difficulties when submitting disputes to credit reporting companies.
- Consumers complain about inaccurate information on credit reports: Consumers submit a high number of complaints about inaccurate personal information on their reports. Frequently consumers state that incorrect or unrecognized names and addresses appear on their reports.
- Consumers report confusion about credit scoring: Consumers continue to be confused over the variety of scores and scoring “factors” that accompany credit score information. Consumers frequently express confusion when they receive varying scores from different reporting agencies.
National Complaint Overview
As of Feb. 1, 2017, the CFPB has handled approximately 1,110,100 complaints nationally. Some of the findings from the statistics being published in this month’s snapshot report include:
- Complaint volume: For January 2017, debt collection was the most-complained-about financial product or service. Of the approximately 29,000 complaints handled in January, there were 7,730 complaints about debt collection. The second most-complained-about consumer product was student loans, which accounted for 5,389 complaints. The third most-complained-about financial product or service was credit reporting, accounting for 4,620 complaints.
- Product trends: In a year-to-year comparison examining the three-month time period of November to January, student loan complaints showed the greatest increase—388 percent—of any product or service. The Bureau received 497 student loan complaints between November 2015 and January 2016, while it received 2,425 complaints during the same time period a year later. This spike in complaints came around the time the CFPB took a major enforcement action against student loan servicer Navient. Additionally, in February 2016, the Bureau expanded the student loan intake form to include federal student loans.
- State information: Georgia, South Dakota, and Mississippi experienced the greatest year-to-year complaint volume increases from November 2016 to January 2017 versus the same time period 12 months before; with Georgia up 59 percent, South Dakota up 43 percent, and Mississippi up 34 percent.
- Most-complained-about companies: The top three companies that received the most complaints from September through November 2016 were Wells Fargo, Equifax, and TransUnion.