This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

3 Ways the CFPB Can Improve the Credit Reporting Process

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a rule this month that would put credit reporting agencies with more than $7 million in annual receipts under the agency's supervision.

The wide range of reporting agencies and methodologies make it an industry ripe for reform and standardization, so here's what we would like to see if these companies end up under the CFPB's jurisdiction.

Richard Cordray and his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a rule this month that would allow it to regulate credit reporting agencies.

Entitle consumers to one free credit score each year.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act entitles consumers to one free credit report from a major credit bureau -- Experian, Equifax or TransUnion -- per year. (Available through annualcreditreport.com.) But what many people don't realize is that the report is delivered without its accompanying score.

"We strongly advocate you should be able to get a free credit score when you get your free credit report," says Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union.

We agree, since that score gives a better indication of just how bad or how good a person's credit truly is than the report, which is more useful as a way to check on the accuracy of one's financial history.

Mediate credit report disputes.
Those familiar with the credit report dispute process know the odds are not exactly stacked in the consumer's favor. While the FCRA does require credit reporting agencies look into information a person says is inaccurate, it doesn't specify how those reviews are to be carried out. The three major credit bureaus, which handle a majority of the industry's business, investigate by going back to the lender and will only remove or update information if the lender, not the borrower, tells them to.

Banks say it would beneficial to consumers if the CFPB decided to "act as the middleman" in this process, which would certainly help consumers when a dispute is particularly complicated or, worse yet, subjective. At the very least, the bureau should accept and review consumer complaints on disputes that are not handled expeditiously.

Create a mandatory disclosure form for credit monitoring services.
Most credit bureaus offer various credit monitoring services intended to help consumers keep track of their credit scores and readily correct inaccurate information that appears in their reports due to either identity theft or simple errors. But these services are often so plentiful and varied it can be hard for a consumer to understand what it is exactly they're paying for. It can even be hard to understand when you're opting into such a program at all -- Experian, for instance, offers a $1 credit report and score on its Web site, but upon paying for the product, consumers are enrolled in a seven-day trial membership in its $17.95 per month credit monitoring program. Consumers have to call to cancel the membership within the seven-day trial period to avoid incurring subsequent automatic charges.

Creating a universal disclosure form, similar to the ones it has already proposed for mortgage disclosures and credit card agreements, would help consumers avoid confusion about the price of the service and compare competing services to one another.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $123.85 -0.47%
FB $81.52 -0.84%
GOOG $543.44 -0.83%
TSLA $188.40 -0.20%
YHOO $44.16 -0.62%

Markets

DOW 17,674.16 -101.96 -0.57%
S&P 500 2,056.64 -11.25 -0.54%
NASDAQ 4,860.3230 -40.5620 -0.83%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs