Tag Archives: Bureaus

The Truth About The Credit Bureaus

Are you under the impression that there is some relationship between the credit bureaus and the government? Credit repair expert Jim Kemish offers some insights.

Not a Friendly Service

In a recent blog entry I wrote, “Significant legislation has been enacted to protect you from the impact of the credit bureau’s inaccuracies. The right that you have to receive copies of your three credit reports for free on an annual basis is not a friendly public service by the credit bureaus. The bureaus have been required to provide this service as one of the protective measures included in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. Your credit report can have a major impact on your financial life. Give your credit the attention that it deserves and review your reports regularly.”

A Reader Responds

A reader responded by asking, “I’ve read that the credit bureaus are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission. Doesn’t this indicate a relationship with the government?” Below is my reply along with some additional thoughts on the subject.

The Credit Bureaus are Not Government Agencies

I replied that, “The relationship between the credit bureaus and the government is the same as the relationship that you have with the government. Because your actions are conscripted by law does not in anyway suggest that you are necessarily a law abiding citizen (although I’m sure that you are!). As many people live in a constant adversarial relationship with the government, so do many large businesses. The credit bureaus happen to be constantly at odds with the law. Given the potential impact that credit reporting errors can have on your financial life, I strongly suggest that you modify your opinion of the bureaus enough to be very cautious of the content of your credit report.”

Strictly For Profit

One of the unfortunate underlying assumptions that people, like the above reader, have in their attitude towards the credit bureaus is that the bureaus have some form of official status. This could not be farther from the truth. They are strictly for profit businesses. Experian and Equifax are publicly traded companies and list their revenues in the billions of dollars. Trans Union is a privately held company with revenues estimated also in the billions. The three credit bureaus have maintained a consistently adversarial relationship with the government and consumers throughout their histories.

An Adversarial Relationship

An adversarial relationship with the public is not unusual for large businesses. All activities are chosen for the purpose of producing profits. The history of lawsuits brought against the bureaus over time paint a clear picture. The office of the Attorney General of Florida is currently pursuing action against Experian relating to misleading claims, deceptive advertising, a misleading domain name (freecreditreport.com), and failure to honor cancellations to their credit monitoring service offered through this so-called free credit report website.

A History of Conflict

The type of behavior described by the Office of the Attorney General of Florida is consistent with countless charges against the three bureaus. In the 1970s Equifax was charged with rewarding its employees for collecting negative information on consumers. This charge, which resulted in a consent decree, provides an interesting hint about the corporate culture.

Experian Gets an “F”

In 2006 a leading consumer advocate website rated the customer service offered by the three bureaus. The ratings were dismal including a grade of “F” given to Experian, who was sited for not even providing customers with a customer service telephone number. Credit repair is not on the priority list at the credit bureaus!

Nothing Has Changed

The above mentioned consumer advocate site has a current post that says, “With the 2003 amendments to the FCRA, and the introduction of the FACT Act, millions of consumers will see the quality of their credit reports degrade even further. FACT stands for Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act, but in reality it is just our government trying to appease millions of consumer who complain about the current credit reporting industry. But they are only appeasing us in name only…”

The Forces at Work

We have been assisting our customers with credit repair since 1989 and as such have dealt with the three bureaus on a consistent basis. There are two major forces at work that shape the behavior of the credit bureaus. The first major force is the need to maximize and protect profits which may result in decisions about operating policy that are not in the best interest of the public. The second force that conspires with the profit motive is the sheer bulk of data that the credit bureaus are trying to manage and maintain. The result has been widespread and serious errors on consumer reports combined with a horrible corporate bureaucratic resistance to fixing the problem. So check your credit reports regularly.

Copyright © 2007 James W. Kemish. All Content. All Rights Reserved.

Jim Kemish is the president and founder of Power Mortgage, a Florida mortgage company based in Delray Beach, Florida. Jim is also the President of Sky Blue Credit, a national credit repair business.

Three Credit Bureaus – Three Bureau Credit Report – Easy!

Three Credit Bureaus - Three Bureau Credit Report - Easy!

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Get 3-in-1 credit history fom Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Look at your credit rating and obtain fraud alerts to safeguard your identity. Experian credit history, transunion redit reports, equifax credit file… and credit ratings free.

Some need bank cards and some don’t… most says require your credit bureaus offer one free credit report annually.

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It is important to be aware about your credit score before looking to apply for mortgage or availing the facility of credit card. It is really a good idea to verify credit rating from different credit bureaus at different period of time in order to secure the identity, which can be very beneficial in preventing identity theft. Identity theft is possible when unknown person pulls out the credit report of individual for different reasons such as taking mortgage or availing credit card services which can ruin the credit rating of the victim if the accused person makes irregular payments on mortgage or credit card existing debts.

Credit report provides all the details to the people regarding their credit status in the market after taking into consideration all the transactions.These transactions are related to the credit taken by the borrowers for their personal as well as commercial purposes.

The credit reports are usually provided by credit bureaus to all the financial institutions, banks, mortgage lenders of different lending institutions, credit card companies, who deal with people on the basis of their creditworthiness.

The report can be accessed by the individual if he is not working from last 60 days or looking to join somewhere professionally in next 30-45 days. The person need to apply for free credit report if his credit rating is very poor or marginal.

The people are provided with mortgage, credit cards and many other facilities on their basis of their credit report in the market.Availing the service of free credit report results in continuous credit inspection of the people,which results in avoiding bad credit report in the market.

Credit status can be accessed from any of the main credit bureaus available in the market, which are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion after every financial year. This can ensure the individual that there correct credit report has been provided to different banks, financial institutions and prominent mortgage lenders in exact relation to their financial strength.

The report also protects the people from theft of their identity in the city, avoiding any sort of mis happening.

There are many credit check programs,which are arranged for the people in the country to get provided with free credit report. All the major credit reporting organizations mainly credit bureaus launch their website along with their toll free number and mailing address of credit bureaus.Consumer need to request the report from three different credit bureaus at the same time or some different scenarios according to the requirement.

The free credit report is provided to the consumers at that point of time if they apply for their credit scores instantly at their respective websites of specific credit bureau. Applicants have to be cautious regarding their typing mistakes, which can lead to expenses. It is because of providing the information in the wrong website related to free credit report status,that individuals get charged for credit report which is actually free.

There are many people who can apply for free credit report over the toll free number or mailing them at the provided address, it takes at least 15 days of time, which is provided on the basis of time period required by the credit bureaus to extract the credit detail of each applicant.

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Do Credit Bureaus Enable Extortion Schemes?

In an article written by Cathy Moran, a California Bankruptcy Lawyer, the term “extortion” is again used. In her article, “Doesn’t this seem like extortion,” she talks about the June 2006 AARP magazine and the touting in that magazine about an AARP sponsored law enacted in Arizona that prevents theft of one’s identity for a fee. Arizonans will now be able to bar credit reporting agencies from releasing their personal financial information to banks and businesses for a fee of $ 5.00 per credit reporting agency. This sounds like the credit agencies are saying “We have personal financial information about you that might harm you. However, if you pay us, we won’t release it to anyone.” Cathy Moran, a lawyer, states that this seems like extortion to her. Cathy exclaims:”Why should that information be available in the first place and why does one have to pay to prevent misuse of the information? What am I missing here?”

Brian Nelson, writer for the Finance Gourmet, in his article, “Credit Monitoring Scam” exclaims:

“One of the biggest financial scams in America comes courtesy of the credit reporting industry and the three major credit reporting bureaus. In class Mafia-style extortion, a tough looking guy visits a local business. He says that bad things might happen to his business. In order to be safe, he should pay for “protection”. Of course, the only protection the business needs is from the crooks offering the protection. Credit reports and credit report monitoring work the same way.”

In his article, Brain goes on to say “The credit bureau’s extortion scheme works exactly the same way. You see, bad things might happen to your credit report. Someone might put false, damaging information on your file. The “smart” thing to do is to check your credit report often. To do that, you have to pay your protection money a credit monitoring service so that you can be informed when negative information goes on your credit report. Of course, the only thing you need “protection” from is the credit bureaus and their lackadaisical efforts to ensure that only accurate information is on your credit report. Not surprisingly, Transunion, Experian, and Equifax all gladly offer high-priced credit monitoring protection.”

There are big questions in the credit reporting industry. Example: If a porn service bills people who never used their services. Is that attempted fraud? If the porn service then turns over the charge to be collected to a collection agency, is the collection agency then an accomplice to attempted fraud? If the porn company phones the people, that supposedly owe for services, and threatens to put the charges on their credit report if they don’t pay, is that extortion? If the credit reporting agency adds this unfavorable item to the people’s credit report and they are denied a home or auto purchase due to this item, is this then extortion. Is it legal for the credit bureau to enable crooks to extort money from consumers? The idea for this example came from rip-off reports currently on the Internet.

John Smalley is owner at an Austin web design company and advocate for consumer rights. If you have had a bad experience with credit bureaus and would like your story published online to expose their dealings, e-mail me at franklinsmalley@yahoo.com or write to JF Smalley, 12343 Hunters Chase Dr., Apt. 1515, Austin, Texas 78729.

“How To Outsmart The Credit Bureaus” by Corey P. Smith

Do you know who controls credit? Why is credit more important than money? How can a person win in today’s society if they are living in poverty? Is it fair for your credit history to be used as a measure of character and suitability for employment? What’s the real reason behind retailers’ and grocery stores’ loyalty cards? The answers to these and so many other intriguing questions are revealed by Corey P. Smith
http://www.coreypsmith.com