All three credit reporting bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian – will take part in a plan to minimize errors on credit reports, the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) reports. The program, dubbed the National Consumer Assistance Plan, will enhance their ability to collect complete and accurate consumer information and will provide consumers more transparency and a better experience interacting with credit bureaus about their credit reports.
“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, CIDA. “While all three nationwide credit bureaus have been and continue to operate in compliance with the applicable federal and state laws, we have never hesitated to go beyond the letter of the law to voluntarily improve the existing credit reporting environment.”
Here’s what consumers can expect under the National Consumer Assistance Plan:
- Consumers visiting www.annualcreditreport.com, the website that allows consumers to obtain a free credit report once a year, will see expanded educational material.
- Consumers who obtain their free annual credit report and dispute information resulting in modification of the disputed item will be able to obtain another free annual report without waiting a year.
- Consumers who dispute items on their credit reports will receive additional information from the credit bureaus along with the results of their dispute, including a description of what they can do if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their dispute.
- The credit rating agencies (CRAs) are focusing on an enhanced dispute resolution process for consumers that are proven victims of identity theft and fraud, as well as those involved in mixed file situations.
Implementation of the consumer assistance plan will begin over the next few months.
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