Equifax, TransUnion and Experian – the big three of credit reporting agencies – announced Tuesday that they’re going to continue allowing consumers to receive free weekly credit reports for one more year until April 20, 2022.
You must go through annualcreditreport.com to get those free weekly reports.
The news comes right after troubling headlines indicating that consumers are frustrated with how their credit is being handled by those very same agencies.
“Consumer complaints about financial grievances spiked during the pandemic year of 2020, eclipsing 2019, the previous record year,” according to a report released Monday by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group.
The report reviewed the public database of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
A positive, accurate credit report paves the way for low-cost loans
Your credit report is the blueprint for building your credit score. Companies like FICO and VantageScore use the information, such as late payments and credit use, on your credit reports to come up with your three-digit credit score.
The higher your score, the better your odds of receiving a low interest rate on a car loan, mortgage, credit card or other loan.
COVID-19 relief rolled out a variety of ways that financially strapped consumers could delay payments on credit cards, auto loans, mortgages and other major loans after losing a job or facing other hardships during the pandemic. Many times, consumers had to reach out to lenders for help.
Why some credit reports include errors
Increasingly, consumer watchdogs are spotting problems, though, including some missed payments that have wrongly showed up on credit reports during deferral periods.
I reported in June about a man in Flint Township, for example, who struggled for nearly a year to drive his credit score up from a grim 527 to pretty good 682. Then in a matter of days, his score unexpectedly tumbled by 91 points in May.
He apparently didn’t do anything wrong to drive that score back below 600. He simply was caught in a COVID-19-related glitch connected to some student loans.
Some mistakes found on credit reports can be attributed to banks mishandling the reporting of a variety of payment accommodations, consumers misunderstanding the exact changes offered and the credit reporting agencies themselves making mistakes.
“As soon as the pandemic hit, a large number of lenders began recognizing that their loan portfolios would be going into default and that isn’t good for anyone,” said Ian Lyngklip, an attorney at Lyngklip & Associates Consumer Law Center in Oak Park.
“A lot of disputes are happening because consumers don’t understand exactly the nature of what is being done,” Lyngklip said.
How to ask for help
Consumers who face financial troubles must ask a lender to send a letter or email to confirm the exact terms of any adjustments or changes in payment terms on a mortgage or other loan.
A wide range of accommodations were granted on a temporary, and often individual basis. And you want to make sure you know what the lender offered you.
“When you have a lot of customized work being done, you have a high probability of errors falling in,” Lyngklip said.
Many times, he said, consumers would call requesting a way to avoid making payments for a month or two on a bill. But they really didn’t get documentation of what was being offered by a lender and so they may not actually know the terms of the accommodation that the creditor provided.
“They really don’t understand the legal arrangement that has been made,” Lyngklip said. “Their concern is what do I have to pay and when do I have to pay it.”
Did the bank waive payments? Extend the loan? Offer a deferment? Or forbearance? These are the correct questions to ask a lender, he said, about what is being offered by way of loan accommodation.
Lyngklip’s website has a new tool for consumers to obtain an automated letter to order credit reports. The site also has fillable forms to request background check reports. The free tool does not collect any data from consumers. See: consumerlawyers.com/fillable-credit-report-request-letters for information.
Many consumers have had their requests for reports rejected because the bureaus claim that they cannot properly identify the consumers, and they may need to write a letter and include identification, Lyngklip said.
Also some consumers are using the online order requests located on the bureau websites, he said, but those sites may require the consumers to agree to the terms of the “pop-ups.”
The letters that his site generates should help the consumer get the correct report without having the request kicked back due to insufficient information.
Complaints about credit reports skyrocket
Last year, consumers were shocked by errors that appeared on their credit reports, as complaints about credit reporting skyrocketed to the top of the list at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Overall, there were 282,000 complaints about credit reporting issues in 2020 – more than double the 136,000 credit reporting complaints from 2019 in the federal consumer watchdog’s database. Credit reporting complaints accounted for 63% of all complaints submitted in 2020.
The three biggest reported problems: incorrect information on credit reports, problems with a credit bureau’s investigation into a problem on a credit report, and debt collection companies attempting to collect debt not owed.
Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – the big three credit reporting bureaus – ranked as the top three most complained about companies in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database.
Ed Mierzwinski, senior director of the federal consumer program for U.S. PIRG, blames the pandemic to a degree, noting the economic upheaval intensified the financial fears that many people already had been experiencing.
Consumer watchdogs pushed an unsuccessful attempt at banning negative credit reporting during the natural disasters and the pandemic, arguing that the COVID-19 emergency has led to job losses and meant that many people aren’t able to pay their bills.
What’s going on, they say, isn’t a real reflection of someone’s creditworthiness.
But Mierzwinski also is extremely critical of how many mistakes credit reporting agencies make even when there isn’t an emergency. He notes that consumer complaints were at record levels relating to credit reports in 2019 – before the pandemic hit – too.
The top complaint month was December 2020 when there were 48,558 complaints – more than double the number of complaints in December 2019.
The goal of credit reporting agencies, Mierzwinski said, is to provide lenders with information about consumers as quickly, and inexpensively, as possible.
“Consumers, they’re our product, not our customer,” Mierzwinski said.
The credit industry disagrees with the consumer watchdogs.
Francis Creighton, president and CEO of the Consumer Data Industry Association, offered this statement: “Getting credit reports right for consumers is one of our most important jobs and that’s reflected by a 97% accuracy rate. The industry’s internal data indicates there is no evidence that complaint activity reflects a problem with credit reporting.”
Instead, she blamed credit repair companies that “take advantage of consumers by promising they can take negative but accurate information off of credit reports for a fee. Additionally, these same companies are abusing the CFPB complaint portal with numerous and repeated frivolous disputes. “
While disputes are required to be resolved within 30 days, she said, the majority are resolved within two weeks. If the dispute extends beyond that time frame, the law requires that the disputed information must be removed from the credit report.
The best bet for consumers: Pay down debts so that your outstanding balances are less than 30% of your overall credit limits. Pay bills on time. Check your credit report before you shop for a loan. Dispute errors.Federal law allows you to request one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each national credit bureau. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit, though, free weekly reports were offered but that has been extended one year now until April 20, 2022.
Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card? – MoneyWise.com
Ask Gareth Shaw: ‘I’m scared I’ll get rejected for credit card because of mistakes I made in the past’
Answer: Well done to you for getting back on your financial feet. Climbing your way out of debt is a marathon – it takes sacrifices and planning, so you’ve taken some really important steps in your financial journey.
The good news is that the negative information – the records of missed payments, defaults and even county court judgments – won’t stay on your credit report forever. Details of your late payments can be viewed for six years after they were settled. Searches and rejections of credit typically disappear after 12 months. So this dark cloud won’t hang over you forever.
Before we talk about applying for credit again, there are steps you can take to improve your credit health. Firstly, you should review your credit reports and make sure there are no errors that could be holding your score back. You can get your credit report for free from each of the three credit reference agencies – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian – and can ask them to investigate errors. Lenders and credit reference agencies have 28 days to respond to disputes.
Registering to vote by getting on the electoral roll can boost your credit score, while you may even be able to add the record of your monthly rent payments to your credit score by asking your landlord to report rental payments to firms like The Rental Exchange, CreditLadder or Canopy.
Experian has launched a new tool that allows you to share information about your banking habits and subscriptions – information which is not traditionally factored into your credit score – in order to increase your score. That means paying your council tax or even paying for Netflix and Amazon Prime could give your score a boost.
If you still want a credit card, your choice is likely to be limited to a particular set of cards designed for people with poor or ‘thin’ credit histories. These are known as ‘credit-builder’ cards, or sometimes ‘bad credit’ cards.
These cards have higher interest rates compared to the most competitive products in the market, to reflect the risk that a lender is taking in by providing credit to someone with a history of repayment problems. You can expect to find an APR of around 29 per cent. They also have lower limits, so when you apply, don’t be surprised to find that the lender will initially only give you £250 to £500.
However, these cards can be used to demonstrate that you are a responsible borrower, can repay on time and stay within your credit limit.
Here’s the golden rule – avoid borrowing money on these credit cards. Purchases tend to be interest-free for 55 days, after which you’ll be charged a considerable amount of interest. So limit the use of these cards, and when you do use them, try to pay them off in full. If you don’t pay on time, you will lose any promotional offer, be hit with a fee and your provider will report your missed payment to the credit reference agencies, reversing any good work you might have done. Set up a direct debit to ensure that your minimum payments are met in advance of the credit card payment date.
When you apply, use an eligibility checker first. This will ask for some basic information and carry out a ‘soft search’ on your credit file, returning a list of cards and the probability of your application being successful. That would be a helpful guide to find a card that is likely to accept you.
Credit Repair Services Market to Scale New Heights as Market
A Latest intelligence report published by AMA Research with title “Credit Repair Services Market Outlook to 2026.A detailed study accumulated to offer Latest insights about acute features of the Global Credit Repair Services market. This report provides a detailed overview of key factors in the Credit Repair Services Market and factors such as driver, restraint, past and current trends, regulatory scenarios and technology development. A thorough analysis of these factors including economic slowdown, local & global reforms and COVID-19 Impact has been conducted to determine future growth prospects in the global market.
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Credit repair services is known as a kind of service to remove negative items from credit reports like late payments, foreclosures, liens, repossessions, and more. Credit repair normally involves fixing the bad credit in any of the way, shape or form. Credit repair is the best option if anyone is thinking about applying for finance in near future. This can make it much easier to attain the loan at the wanted rate. This will also increase the chances of being approved in the first place. The market of Credit Repair Services is mainly driven due to the escalating number of small size and large size organizations, rising focus on the safety & security related to financial documents of the company and strict norms and policies framed by government considering disclosure of the taxation and financial documents considering to the global scenario. Also, Lack of Skilled Professional is hampering the total market growth. Some of the Mandatory Norms & Policies framed by Governments related to the disclosure of Taxation and Financial Documents are creating lucrative growth opportunities for market growth.
Major Players in This Report Include,
Lexington Law (United States),CreditRepair.com (United States),Sky Blue Credit Repair (United States),The Credit People (United States),Experian PLC (Ireland),Ovation (United States),MyCreditGroup (United States),Veracity Credit Consultants (United States),MSI Credit Solutions (United States),The Credit Pros (United States),Pyramid Credit Repair (United States)
Keep yourself up-to-date with latest market trends and changing dynamics due to COVID Impact and Economic Slowdown globally. Maintain a competitive edge by sizing up with available business opportunity in Credit Repair Services Market various segments and emerging territory.
• Personalization in the Credit Repair Services
• A Growing Number of Large Size and Small Size Organizations
• Rising Focus on Safety & Security-Related To Company’s Financial Documents
• Mandatory Norms & Policies Related To Disclosure of Taxation and Financial Documents Creating Lucrative Growth Opportunities
The Global Credit Repair Services Market segments and Market Data Break Down are illuminated below:
by Application (Private, Enterprise), Service Mode (Online, Offline)
Credit Repair Services the manufacturing cost structure analysis of the market is based on the core chain structure, engineering process, raw materials and suppliers. The manufacturing plant has been developed for market needs and new technology development. In addition, Credit Repair Services Market attractiveness according to country, end-user, and other measures is also provided, permitting the reader to gauge the most useful or commercial areas for investments. The study also provides special chapter designed (qualitative) to highlights issues faced by industry players in their production cycle and supply chain. However overall estimates and sizing, various tables and graphs presented in the study gives and impression how big is the impact of PANDEMIC.
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Geographically World Credit Repair Services markets can be classified as North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa and Latin America. North America has gained a leading position in the global market and is expected to remain in place for years to come. The growing demand for Credit Repair Services markets will drive growth in the North American market over the next few years.
• Comprehensive overview of parent market& substitute market
• Changing market dynamics in the industry (COVID & Economic Impact Analysis)
• In-depth market segmentation (Trends, Growth with Historical & Forecast Analysis)
• Recent industry trends and development activity
• Competitive landscape (Heat Map Analysis for Emerging Players & Market Share Analysis for Major Players along with detailed Profiles)
Strategic Points Covered in Table of Content of Global Credit Repair Services Market:
• Chapter 1 – Executive Summary
• Chapter 2 – COVID-19 Impacts on Credit Repair Services Market
• Chapter 3 – Credit Repair Services Market – Type Analysis
• Chapter 4 – Credit Repair Services Market – Application/End-User Analysis
• Chapter 5 – Credit Repair Services Market – Geographical Analysis
• Chapter 6 – Credit Repair Services Market – Competitive Analysis
• Chapter 7 – Company Profiles
• Chapter 8 – Credit Repair Services Industry Analysis
• Chapter 9 – Industrial Chain, Downstream Buyers, and Sourcing Strategy
• Chapter 10 – Marketing Strategy Analysis
• Chapter 11 – Report Conclusion and Key Insights
• Chapter 12 – Research Approach and Methodology
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Key questions answered
• Who are the Leading key players and what are their Key Business plans in the Credit Repair Services market?
• What are the key concerns of the five forces analysis of the Credit Repair Services market?
• What are different prospects and threats faced by the dealers in the Credit Repair Services market?
• What possible measures players are taking to overcome and stabilize the situation?
Thanks for reading this article; you can also get individual chapter wise section or region wise report version like North America, Middle East, Africa, Europe or LATAM, Asia.
Craig Francis (PR & Marketing Manager)
AMA Research & Media LLP
Unit No. 429, Parsonage Road Edison, NJ
New Jersey USA – 08837
Phone: +1 (206) 317 1218
Advance Market Analytics is Global leaders of Market Research Industry provides the quantified B2B research to Fortune 500 companies on high growth emerging opportunities which will impact more than 80% of worldwide companies’ revenues.
Our Analyst is tracking high growth study with detailed statistical and in-depth analysis of market trends & dynamics that provide a complete overview of the industry. We follow an extensive research methodology coupled with critical insights related industry factors and market forces to generate the best value for our clients. We Provides reliable primary and secondary data sources, our analysts and consultants derive informative and usable data suited for our clients business needs. The research study enables clients to meet varied market objectives a from global footprint expansion to supply chain optimization and from competitor profiling to M&As.
This release was published on openPR.
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Global Credit Repair Services Market Demand and Status, Forecast 2025 | • CreditRepair.com • MyCreditGroup • The Credit People • Veracity Credit Consultants • TransUnion • MSI Credit Solutions • Lexington Law • USA Credit Repair