Consumer Group PIRG Slams Credit Bureaus, Calls for Reform

Advocate Andy

Reform Push Follows Report from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Following a report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on the failings of the Big Three credit bureaus when it comes to resolving consumer complaints, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) issued a call for reform of the industry.

Consumer Advocates Call for Reform of Credit Bureaus | by Andy Spears | Jan, 2022 | Medium

PIRG noted:

For over 30 years now, PIRGs have fought for changes in the private credit reporting system that the Big 3 bureaus dominate. A summary of our own findings is this: The big 3 credit bureaus function as self-appointed gatekeepers to financial and employment opportunity. Their oligopoly has been an epic fail for consumers.

The CFPB has indicated it is taking the issue of reform seriously.

“America’s credit reporting oligopoly has little incentive to treat consumers fairly when their credit reports have errors,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Today’s report is further evidence of the serious harms stemming from their faulty financial surveillance business model.”

PIRG joins other consumer advocacy groups in calling for reform in the credit reporting industry.

“The CFPB is to be commended for issuing this report and shining a spotlight on the serious problems of the Big Three credit bureaus in responding to credit reporting disputes,” said Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney with NCLC.

Wu added:

“It is way past time for reform. The CFPB is the supervisor and regulator for the credit bureaus; what other industry would dare refuse to provide meaningful relief in 98% of the consumer complaints referred to them by their supervisor? This level of impunity against its own regulator must be met with swift, assertive, and uncompromising action that fundamentally reforms the credit bureaus in a deep, structural manner.”

While consumers wait for action, U.S. PIRG has some tips on avoiding credit repair doctors and protecting your credit, including how to support reform through the Comprehensive CREDIT Act and how to freeze your reports (it’s free) to avoid identity theft.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN
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