About 200 million Americans have credit histories on file with the three major credit bureaus, and these bureaus generate more than one billion credit reports each year. Credit reports play a critical role in the economic health of American families. A good credit history enables consumers to obtain credit, and at a fair price. Credit reports are also used by employers, landlords, utility providers, and insurers.
Despite their importance, inaccuracies and errors plague credit reports, with estimates of serious errors affecting up to 25% of reports. The dispute process mandated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act has become a travesty, with the credit bureaus conducting perfunctory investigations by translating detailed written disputes into two or three digit codes and paying foreign workers as little as $0.57 to process each dispute.
NCLC played a key role in the passage of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, and will continue advocate for consumers to ensure that every American is treated with fairness by the credit reporting system.
Credit Reports Policy Briefs, Reports & Press Releases
- Press Release: New FTC Study Points to Much-Needed Reforms for Credit Reporting Industry, Feb. 11, 2013
- Press Release: CFPB Report Points to Needed Reforms for Credit Reporting Industry, Dec. 13, 2012
- Press Release: Excellent CFPB study on credit scores, Sept. 25, 2012
- Press Release: CFPB to Oversee Credit Reporting Agencies, July 16, 2012
- Broken Records: How Errors by Criminal Background Checking Companies Harm Workers and Businesses, April 2012
- Full Utility Credit Reporting
- Issue Brief: Full Utility Credit Reporting: Risks to Low Income Consumers, July 2012
- Presentation to National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions, June 2010
- Risks to Low Income Consumers, Dec. 2009
Credit Reports Comments and Testimony
- Testimony before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee Subcommittee Re: Making Sense of Consumer Credit Reports, Dec. 19, 2012
Video of U.S. Senate Banking hearing "Making Sense of Consumer Credit Reports"
(Testimony by NCLC attorney Chi Chi Wu begins at 51:50)
- Testimony regarding "Examining the Uses of Consumer Credit Data", Sept. 13, 2012
- Comments to the CFPB re: defining the "larger" debt collectors and consumer reporting agencies, April 17, 2012
- Dodd-Frank Credit Score Disclosure: Consumer and Civil Rights Group Comments, Apr. 2011
- Use of Credit Reports in Employment and Restoring Consumer Rights for Adverse Action Disclosures, Testimony regarding Use of Credit Information beyond Lending: Issues and Reform Proposals, May 12, 2010
- Prevent Deceptive Marketing of Credit Reports, Consumer Group Comments, Dec. 2009
Credit Reports Letters
Policy Analysis Archive
- Amicus brief of NCLC and NACA in Carvalho v. Equifax, Full text
- FCRA preemption and furnisher liability, Amicus Brief of NCLC and NACA in Gorman v. Wolpoff & Abramson case, April 2009
- White v. Experian/TransUnion/Equifax, Class action lawsuit against TransUnion LLC, Experian Information Solutions, Inc., and Equifax Information Services LLC
- Amicus Brief of NACA, NCLC and others defending statutory damages provision of FCRA against constitutional attack
Fair Credit Reporting
All consumers are concerned about their credit reports, and no area of consumer litigation is growing faster. This edition includes FCRA analysis and integrates all FACTA changes.