Mike Wagner and Jill Riepenhoff of The Columbus Dispatch did an amazing investigative series on credit reports. Here is the first part:
They can look like harmless errors: A misspelled name. A transposed number. A paid debt listed as past due.
But mistakes on credit reports can inflict widespread damage. And because there are insufficient rules on how credit-reporting agencies must correct them, Americans are left virtually powerless to erase the mistakes.
The Dispatch documented the plight of thousands who, through no fault of their own, have been denied the chance to buy a home or a car, take out a loan for college, rent an apartment, land a job, join the Armed Forces, receive medical care or even open a checking account.
Elected officials, including President Barack Obama, suspect that the problems plague millions of Americans and are calling for reform after reviewing a summary of the newspaper’s findings.
The federal law that governs credit reporting is fraught with loopholes and obstacles that make correcting mistakes difficult, if not impossible, the newspaper found.
During a yearlong investigation, The Dispatch collected and analyzed nearly 30,000 consumer complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission and attorneys general in 24 states that alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act by the three largest credit-reporting agencies in the United States — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Read more here: