The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reports that its consumer complaint database saw a significant increase in the number of complaints related to credit reporting in July.
According to the bureau's monthly snapshot of consumer complaint activity, there were 6,969 complaints about credit reporting matters in July – an increase of 56% compared the 4,289 complaints about credit reporting in June.
The majority of credit reporting complaints – 77% – involved incorrect information on reports, the CFPB says in a release. Consumers frequently complain of debts already paid or debts not yet due showing up on their report, negatively affecting their credit scores.
Some consumers complained about trouble accessing reports – however, the bureau points out that this is probably due in part to more rigorous online identity authentication questions. When consumers cannot access their reports via the Internet, they typically must send copies of sensitive, identifying documents through the mail. Many consumers feel is time-consuming and potentially not secure.
The bureau says 97% of the complaints regarding credit reporting involved the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
‘Whether a consumer is trying to get a mortgage, apply for a student loan, or buy a car, credit reports are fundamentally important in allowing people to access their financial goals,’ says Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB, in a release. ‘As we see a rise in the number of consumers complaining about this issue, the Bureau will continue to work to ensure that credit reports are fair, accurate, and readily available to all consumers.’
As of Aug. 1, the CFPB had handled 677,200 complaints since launching its complaint database in 2012.
In July, the most-complained-about financial product or service was debt collection, representing about 31% of complaints submitted. Of the 26,704 complaints handled in July, approximately 8,224 of them were about debt collection.
The second most-complained-about consumer product was credit reporting.
The third most-complained-about financial product or service was mortgages, accounting for approximately 4,498 complaints.
This month's consumer complaint database snapshot has a special geographical focus on California.
To view the full report, click here.