Experian, Equifax, and Transunion, the three largest credit reporting agencies (also called credit bureaus) are looking out for whose best interests? Yours or theirs?
The correct answer is, they are looking out for their own best interests. Here’s what I’m talking about:
- When you request your free annual credit report online, you give up legal rights and agree to let them process dispute letters to their own convenience and advantage.
(This is why I recommend requesting your credit report only through the USPS mail system.)
2. When you provide your personal banking information in order to participate in “Boost My Credit Score,” you give all kinds of personal data to the credit bureau, but the “boosted score” is NOT USED by mortgage lenders.
(This is why I recommend saying no thanks to that privacy-invasive program.)
3. When your credit report is available for all creditors to see, they sell your name, address, and phone number to credit card companies who then harass you with junk mail that puts you in greater danger of identity theft.
(This is why I recommend opting out of receiving credit card offers. If you want an account, you can apply on your own. Go to http://www.optoutprescreen.)
4. When Hieu Minh Ngo hacked into Experian’s system in 2015, he stole 200 million identities belonging to American citizens and then sold them on the black market, exposing much of our personal identifying information.
(This is why I recommend placing a freeze on your credit reports if you don’t intend to apply for credit within the next month.)
Now you tell me, are these agencies your friends? Are they looking out for your safety and protection? Or do they exist mainly to make money from consumers, from lenders, from creditors, and from anyone else they can sell reports to?
It’s no wonder that one in five credit reports contain an error, according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission in 2019.
It’s no wonder that in 2020, consumers filed more than 280,000 complaints against the credit bureaus!
Could your report contain an error? Might the collection or charge-off balance reporting be wrong? Might someone else’s late payment be showing up on your report? It’s possible. And it is also possible to get those errors removed from your report.
Only when your credit report is 100 percent accurate, clean, and earning a high credit score do the credit bureaus become your friend. Learn how to make this happen for yourself by picking up a copy of Repair Your Credit Like the Pros here nd Build and Protect Your Credit Like the Pros here.
God bless you on your journey to credit you can be rightfully proud of!
7 thoughts on “Credit Reporting Agencies: Friend or Foe?”
Thanks Ms.Carolyn Warren for the info you send. I have always wondered about that Boost Score, and thank God I was never enticed! Have a great weekend!
Thank you for this information. I didn’t know that I was giving up rights by even asking for a credit report. I wonder what else is behind this push to offer free reports every week during COVID. Really appreciate the knowledge.
PJ, you don’t give up any rights when you order your credit report by mail. Only online do you have to check the tiny box agreeing to their terms.
I too am very thankful for the information.
I ordered my three credit reports by USPS over a month ago. I thought I would get all three, but I got only the Experian one (which came in about two weeks).
Sheila, you will get all three credit reports. Each credit bureau comes separately. TransUnion and Equifax are running slow right now. If yu don’t receive the other two within 45 days of your request, Google the phone number and call and ask. That’s what the pros are doing right now. Meanwhile, you can do any credit work needed with Experian, so this won’t slow you down too much.
Getting your credit report by mail what should I send, is it safe putting your social security number in an envelope, what about calling in to request, but not online?
You have a good question. Stolen mail is extremely rate; it happens less often than online breach of information. I have never heard of or read about SS numbers being stolen out of an envelope in the mail; but I’ve read many articles of online security breaches. You cannot order a credit report by telephone, because it would be too easy for a fraudster to impersonate someone on the phone. The credit bureaus require the request to be in writing: either by mail or by online. Ultimately, it is your choice which of the two you want to use.