March 11, 2015
Three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – announced Monday a National Consumer Assistance Plan that will enhance their ability to collect accurate consumer information and provide consumers with a better experience when handling credit report issues.
The plan was announced after working cooperatively to reach an agreement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
“Credit reports touch every part of our lives. They affect whether we can obtain a credit card, take out a college loan, rent an apartment, or buy a car – and sometimes even whether we can get jobs,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
“The nation’s largest reporting agencies have a responsibility to investigate and correct errors on consumers’ credit reports. This agreement will reform the entire industry and provide vital protections for millions of consumers across the country. I thank the three agencies for working with us to help consumers.”
The National Consumer Assistance Plan focuses on enhancements in two primary areas: consumer interaction with national credit reporting agencies, and data accuracy and quality.
“While we are pleased that the most recent comprehensive study by the Federal Trade Commission showed that credit reports are materially accurate 98 percent of the time, we are always looking for ways to improve our procedures, and this consumer assistance plan will allow us to do that," said Stuart Pratt, president and CEO of the Consumer Data Industry Association.
Consumers can obtain a free credit report once a year and view expanded educational material from www.annualcreditreport.com.
In addition, credit bureaus will wait 180 days before adding medical debt to a credit report to allow insurance payments to be applied.
Implementation of the consumer assistance plan will begin over the next few months.