San Diego, CA.
The National Association of Public Interest Research
Groups (PIRGs) released an update on credit file mistakes
which says overall one in four credit reports contain
errors serious enough to bring about a denial in credit.
79 percent of all credit files reviewed, contain mistakes,
many of which are not significant enough to sidetrack a
credit application, but are typos, incorrect dates and
other data entry errors.
Credit report reviews conducted by professionals, trained
by the award winning, nonprofit Institute of Consumer
Financial Education (ICFE) in San Diego, CA., helps
consumers discover any problems, including suspicious
activity, prior to their making a mortgage or credit
applications and avoid a considerable loss of time and
embarrassment which accompanies a 'declined' answer to
many requests for credit from consumers whose files
PIRG says its report is based on files held by the
so-called 'Big Three' credit bureaus, which are also
referred to as the national repositories. 'There are
numerous other local credit bureaus. These either sell
their data to or license their data to these national
repositories. When a consumer credit decision is made in
the United States, even if the creditor initially contacts
a local bureau, information from one or more of the
repositories is generally used.'
'There are also numerous specialty credit bureaus, some
affiliated with the repositories, others affiliated with
other companies. For example, the Medical Information
Bureau collects information about insurance claims
history. Tenant screening bureaus work on behalf of
landlords. CLUE, a division of the Equifax spin-off
Choicepoint, is an auto and home insurance rating bureau.
Numerous check verification and guarantee bureaus also
exist. One distinction is that many of the specialty
bureaus only collect and sell negative information, while
the national repositories report on both positive and
negative payment history,' said the executive summary.
'All are regulated under the federal Fair Credit Reporting
Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq. The act uses the terms 'consumer
reporting agencies' and 'consumer reports' instead of the
more common 'credit bureaus' and 'credit reports,'
according to the PIRG report's executive summary.
Executive Summary of the PIRG Report:
'The most valuable thing we have is our good name. The
most common reflection of our reputation as a trustworthy
consumer is our credit report. Unfortunately, the
information contained in our credit reports, which are
bought and sold daily to nearly anyone who requests and
pays for them, does not always tell a true story.
Credit bureaus collect and compile information about
consumer creditworthiness from banks and other creditors
and from public record sources such as lawsuits,
bankruptcy filings, tax liens and legal judgments. The
three major credit bureaus'Experian, Equifax, and Trans
Union' maintain files on nearly 90 percent of all American
adults. Those files are routinely sold to credit grantors,
landlords, employers, insurance companies,
and many others interested in the credit record of a
consumer, often without the consumer's knowledge or
Several studies since the early 1990s have documented
sloppy credit bureau Practices that lead to mistakes on
credit reports'for which consumers pay the price.
Consumers with serious errors in their credit reports can
be denied credit, home loans, apartment rentals, auto
insurance, or even medical coverage and the right to open
a bank account or use a debit card. Consumers with serious
errors in their reports who do obtain credit or a loan may
have to pay higher interest rates because the mistakes
falsely place them in the sub-prime, high-cost lending
We asked adults in 30 states to order their credit reports
and complete a survey on the reports' accuracy. Key
- Twenty-five percent (25%) of the credit reports surveyed
contained serious errors that could result in the denial
of credit, such as false delinquencies or accounts that
did not belong to the consumer;
- Fifty-four percent (54%) of the credit reports contained
personal demographic information that was misspelled,
long-outdated, belonged to a stranger, or was otherwise
- Twenty-two percent (22%) of the credit reports listed
the same mortgage or loan twice;
- Almost eight percent (8%) of the credit reports were
missing major credit, loan, mortgage, or other consumer
accounts that demonstrate the creditworthiness of the
- Thirty percent (30%) of the credit reports contained
credit accounts that had been closed by the consumer but
remained listed as open;
- Altogether, 79% of the credit reports surveyed contained
either serious errors or other mistakes of some kind.
Professional credit report reviews, conducted by a
qualified and trained professionals known as 'Certified
Credit Report Reviewers' help consumers avoid credit
problems before they make application for credit or a
mortgage. Credit report reviews used to be something that
was done when a consumer discovered a mistake or activity
resembling identity theft, after they were denied credit.
Soon, when the nations consumers begin accessing their
'free credit reports' under the new FACTA law, the credit
report reviews will become essential because millions of
consumers may begin access their free credit reports,
however, they may not be able to read the report or
understand the symbols and summaries.
A professionally trained credit report reviewer can
identify inaccuracies, omissions, and also point out
suspicious activity, in addition to pointing out items in
a report that may negatively affect a credit score.
To learn more about free credit reports, credit file
mistakes and credit report reviews or how to become
Certified as a Credit Report Reviewer, please visit
Paul S. Richard
Institute of Consumer Financial Education
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163
Email Reply: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation). The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org). CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed. In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.
The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much. ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.
Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.icfe.info and studentdebthelp.org. Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G, a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.
About the ICFE:
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the
late Loren Dunton (creator of the 'certified financial planner' (CFP)
designation) and it is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve
their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The ICFE trains and
certifies Personal Finance Instructors for its own curriculum. It also trains
and certifies Credit Report Reviewers and Identity Theft Prevention Specialists.
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that
has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It
publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, now in its 16th
printing and has distributed over one million 'Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels'
and 'Credit/Debit Card Sleeves' world wide.
The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial
Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.
The ICFE is also a partner in the national Jump$tart Coalition for Financial
Literacy and the California Jump$tart chapter. The ICFE staff is also active
with San Diego Saves, an offshoot of America Saves, and the California Student
Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) (studentdebthelp.org).
The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE
Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from
'The Money Instruction Book,' a course in personal finance, positioned to become
among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education
The ICFE Web site at:
www.icfe.info helps consumers with mending spending, learning about
the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and
implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and
videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free
eNews, and an online resource center of financial education learning
tools, including videos, books, software and personal finance courses.