What the FTC Didn’t Say in Their Study of the U.S. Credit Reporting Industry

For those of you who are not aware, the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) earlier this week released a study of the U.S. credit reporting industry and quite frankly, nothing in it has any shock value that I can see.  The numbers may have changed somewhat, but the outcome is the same as in studies of years past: mistakes continue to happen!

In the FTC website, Charles Harwood, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection goes on to say, “Your credit report has information about your finances and your bill-paying history, so it’s important to make sure it’s accurate. The good news for consumers is that credit reports are free through annualcreditreport.com and if you find an error, you can work with the credit reporting company to fix it.”

I Don’t Think So

Really?  Sorry Mr. Harwood; with all due respect, I have to call HORSESHIT on this one!  You really should start watching 60 Minutes a little more frequently because if you had watched a recent segment titled 40 Million Mistakes: Is your credit report accurate, you would have found out something that I, and a whole host of nationally respected credit experts already knew; Credit Bureaus Are Not Your Friend and We Are Not Their Client!

I’d love to ask Mr. Harwood if he has ever attempted to correct an error or inaccuracy on his own personal credit report…ever!

When is a Credit Report…Not a Credit Report?

Their site states that the FTC has a wide range of general information for consumers on credit reporting issues, including Free Credit Reports, Disputing Errors on Credit Reports, and Your Source for a Truly Free Credit Report; AnnualCreditReport.com, as well as a new consumer blog posted titled It Pays to Check Your Credit Report.

But here’s my question for the FTC; why do you keep referring to reports being pulled from annualcreditreport.com as a “credit report” when in fact: it isn’t!  It’s a “consumer disclosure”.  And you, reading this blog post; if you didn’t know this fact, take a few minutes and watch the video below which is a part of my free Better Credit Blueprint video series where I clearly explain the difference between the two: (PSST; Mr. Harwood, you should watch this too!)

The Last Word

My last word on this, and every other study or news segment that points out the obvious about the credit reporting industry is this: what’s being done about holding the credit reporting agencies (CRA’s) accountable for not protecting consumers and willfully breaking the law as it pertains to the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

Let’s see if Elizabeth Warren, now that she’s a U.S. Senator, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can come down hard on this industry!  We have already seen what the Republican controlled House has done and what their course of action will be moving forward; they sued to have President Barack Obama’s recess appointments declared unconstitutional to include the head of the CFPB – Richard Cordray.

Since Cordray’s appointment, all the CFPB has done is set rules preventing mortgage lenders from lying to borrowers about rates, fined credit card companies for violating consumer protection laws, and forced debt-relief services to refund illegal fees they charged to their cash strapped clients.  In other words; consumers are being protected and the bureau is working!  And for this, House Republicans say… he’s gotta go! 

And one more thing…

Shouldn’t we, as amateur consumers,  have the right to know our own credit scores without paying for it? If you agree, then lend your voice to this Consumers Union National Campaign to get the three major credit reporting agencies to give you credible and trustworthy credit scores FREE along with your credit reports.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject so please leave a comment below and if you liked this post, share it with your friends by using the social share buttons.


  1. Jerry says:

    Lou, great post. Many people forget that credit reporting agencies get paid by the lenders that use their reports. Normally, I am an opponent of government interference, but in this case it is warranted.

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