FTC Report Confirms Credit Reports Are Accurate

Feb 11, 2013, 09:14 ET from Consumer Data Industry Association

CDIA Says Consumers Should Take Advantage of Free Credit Reports

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its latest study on credit reports today and reconfirmed the findings of several recent studies that conclude that credit reports are highly accurate and play a critical role in facilitating access to fair and affordable consumer credit. The FTC's research determined that 2.2 percent of all credit reports have an error that would increase the price a consumer would pay in the marketplace and that fully 88% of errors were the result of inaccurate information reported by lenders and other data sources to nationwide credit bureaus. The study also showed that 95 percent of consumers are unaffected by errors in their credit report.

Stuart Pratt, president and CEO of the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), said, "Most consumers are well aware that their credit report is a fundamental reflection of their discipline and responsibility when accessing and using consumer credit.  This additional study from the US government's chief consumer protection agency should reassure consumers that they can depend upon the accuracy of their credit history."  

"While the overall number of errors and their impact on consumers' creditworthiness is small, maintaining accurate credit reporting data is essential to both lenders and credit bureaus. We will continue to work with lenders and others who provide data to the credit bureaus to make sure the percentage of material errors impacting consumers is even lower," Pratt said.

This is the third study in just over a year that addresses factors associated with the accuracy of credit reports. In December 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a white paper on credit reporting and found only 1.3 percent to 3.9 percent of all consumers file a dispute about information in their credit report. In 2011, the Policy and Economic Research Council (PERC) also undertook a peer-reviewed study of credit report accuracy and found that consumer credit scores were negatively affected less than one percent of the time by an error in a credit report.

The CDIA encourages consumers to take advantage of their right to free credit reports from nationwide credit reporting agencies by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. To convince more consumers to look at their credit reports, CDIA's nationwide credit reporting companies have given the Association a grant to fund new public service announcements focused on connecting them with their credit reports. 

"Confirmation that credit reports are accurate is a good thing," said Pratt, "but all consumers should be aware that checking credit reports every year is fundamental to accuracy."

About CDIA

Founded in 1906, CDIA is the international trade association that represents 170 consumer data companies. CDIA members represent the nation's leading institutions in the credit reporting, mortgage reporting, check verification, fraud prevention, risk management, employment reporting, tenant screening, and collection services businesses.   

SOURCE Consumer Data Industry Association