FTC Issues Credit Report Accuracy Study

Credit Report Blogs

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A follow-up study of credit report accuracy issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found that most consumers with previously reported unresolved errors on their credit reports believe that some disputed information on those reports is still inaccurate, according to an FTC press release. The study is available here: Report to Congress Under Section 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.

The new FTC study is the sixth and final study on national credit report accuracy and follows a study issued by the FTC in 2012 which examined how many consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports. The 2012 study found that one in five consumers had an error on a credit report that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after a dispute and that approximately 20 percent of consumers who identified errors on a credit report experienced an increase in their credit score.

The follow-up study from the FTC – which focused on 121 consumers who had at least one unresolved dispute on a credit report from the 2012 study – found that:

  • 37 of the consumers (31 percent) stated that they now accepted the original disputed information on their credit report as correct.
  • 84 of these consumers (nearly 70 percent) continue to believe that at least some of the disputed information on their credit report is inaccurate.
  • Of those 84 consumers, 38 of them (45 percent) said they plan to continue their credit report dispute while 42 (50 percent) plan to abandon their dispute (four consumers were undecided).
  • Of consumers from the 2012 study who had a credit report modified after disputing information, the new study found that 2 of them (about 1 percent) had the negative information that had been removed subsequently reappear on their credit report.

The final FTC credit report accuracy study recommends that CRAs review and improve the process they use to notify consumers about the results of dispute investigations and continue to educate consumers regarding their rights to review their credit reports and dispute inaccurate credit report information. FTC Commissioner Julie Brill issued a statement recommending additional steps to address the report’s findings.

To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC – the federal agency that works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices – also has a wide range of general information for consumers on credit report issues:

More Credit Report Information from ESR

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’– offers credit report information including Employment Credit Checks, ESR News Blogs about Credit Reports, the article States with Laws Regulating Credit Reports for Employment, and a complimentary whitepaper The Use of Credit Reports in Employment Background Screening. For more information about background check services from ESR, call toll free 888.999.4474 or visit http://www.esrcheck.com.