Oversight of Credit Agencies Long Overdue


The Consumer Federal Protection Bureau’s decision to regulate credit agencies is a significant step to protect consumers. Until now, there was no central entity in the federal government to oversee the major credit reporting agencies. The credit market affects just about every American family through car loans, mortgage applications, and more minor lines of credit, yet reporting system is flawed. For the average person, appealing a simple mistake on a credit report can be a long, onerous process. 

The name Agency in Credit Reporting Agency almost connotes a sense of authority. It may even lend the impression to consumers that these credit agencies are quasi-governmental agencies, or that they are at least important enough to be regulated by the government.  After all, an “agency” sounds pretty important and official. Surely, these “agencies” are accountable to consumers, aren’t they?

The truth is credit agencies are businesses. As consumer expert Clark Howard explained in an interview, we, the consumers, “are not [even] the customers.” Banks, credit card companies, and even potential employers are the ones who pay for our credit reports. They are the customers.

Sign Up for E-News

As a result, a consumer’s satisfaction with the accuracy of their credit reports is not one of the credit reporting agency’s primary concerns. As Clark Howard explains, credit agencies simply “slice and dice our credit information. Their only real objective is to package and sell, without an interest in [ensuring] that the information is wholly accurate.”

Also as a result, reporting errors are common and credit agencies have a poor track record of correcting those errors. According to a study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, 79 percent of credit reports contained an error of some kind. An alarming one-quarter of reports contained errors serious enough to result in denial of credit. 

Even worse, as the Public Interest Research Group recently noted, credit agencies make it nearly impossible for consumers to fix those errors -- after all, we’re not their customers and the accuracy of our credit reports is their primary interest. As a necessity, consumer advocates promote best practices where people must send disputes to both the agencies and lenders via certified mail. At the end of a long process, consumers may even have to file a lawsuit to see results.

There is nothing wrong with credit agencies making a profit. They are private businesses. Yet without adequate oversight, these agencies have little incentive to ensure the accuracy of consumer credit reports. In this sluggish economy, it is lost on almost nobody how seemingly small errors on a credit score can make the difference between loan approvals and denials, as well as favorable interest rates. Given the enormous influence these agency’s have on the lives of American consumers, this action is long overdue.




 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, April 27, 2:00 PM

Madison Area YMCA - Kroll Conference Room, Madison

Blood Drive

Giving Back Health & Wellness Other

Sun, May 20, 2:00 PM

Chatham Township Municipal Building, Chatham

A Tour of Chatham Township and Green Village

Arts & Entertainment

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, April 9 – Sunday, April 15, 2018


The program will be held on Thursdays, May 3 through June 21 – 1:30 to 2:30 pm

Registration required

For anyone wanting to improve their English language skills, we are starting our first ever ESL program.  The program will be conducted by Language Education and Resource Network (LEARN) and volunteer tutors for 8 weeks.  Further sessions may be ...

A Huge Chatham Thank You to Len Resto, the Mayor, Council and DPW, especially Carlos and Stan

April 9, 2018

Dear Editor,


With spring holding off threats of snow, recent memories of the Nor’Easter that paralyzed the region are still engraved in my mind. In the height of the last big storm a 65 foot tall, 2½ foot wide white pine gave way to the heavy snow and landed on the house pulling our power line down, 1700 other Chathamites had lost power and trees were down ...

Financial Planning for Recent College Graduates from Chatham Wealth Management

April 20, 2018


It’s that time of the year when many families are excitedly getting ready to attend their children’s college graduation. Where has the time gone? It feels like just yesterday that we were dropping them off for freshman year.

Well, time does pass quickly and now would be a really good time to give your graduating children some savings and investment advice. Below are a ...