Be Warned – All Credit Agencies are NOT Created Equal

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Here at PointBlank, we often talk about the importance of staying on top of your credit report. Be warned that not all credit reporting companies follow consumer protection laws, Karen Weise of Business Week writes.  There may be several unsavory reporting agencies out there reporting false information about you to potential employers, lenders, or insurance brokers.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a list recently of 40 different reporting agencies that you should be aware of.  Some names you likely know—like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—and others you’ve probably never heard of.   In order to comply with federal law, each reporting agency must make it easy to access a free copy of your report once a year and have a formal process for consumers to dispute errors on the report.  While many of the agencies on the list are trustworthy and highly regulated, the CFPB found several problems with the processes of many companies within their report.

It’s nearly impossible to stay on top of every reporting agency out there that may be collecting your information, and the CFPB list only represents a small portion of the reporting agencies that exist.  So what can you do?

If you’re currently in a situation where your credit report might come into play – like a job search, purchasing a home, or looking for lending for your business from Direct Capital or another lender—then you may want to pull several of your reports to check for errors, Weise suggests.  If you wind up missing something that was held against you, in some cases you’ll have a right to know what data was used and dispute it.

In the meantime, it’s always a good idea to develop good habits that will be reported favorably on your reports – paying your bills on time and not taking on more personal debt than you can handle.

Which companies do you use to pull your credit reports?