Are you getting the Run Around from the Credit Bureaus?


A recent report by the Federal Trade Commission harshly criticizes the nation’s credit bureaus for promoting identity theft prevention services when victims call looking for help.

Bob Sullivan writing for the Red Tape Chronicles tells us the report reveals that consumers can not get past the voice mail systems that often make it hard to reach a live operator. They are confused about their rights and face unnecessary time-consuming hassles fixing credit report errors caused by identity thieves or former landlords. It also  mentions the possibility that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could initiate enforcement actions against the bureaus : Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  will function as an ombudsman for irate consumers who are essentially being forced by Experian to purchase fraud alert packages. Moreover, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will do more than field complaints from folks who are pissed off that Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are ruining their lives. They will also have authority and oversight over the credit bureaus which will include imposing fines and reversing erroneous entries on an individual’s credit history!

It took me forever to thaw or unfreeze my credit history at Experian. They charged me for service they never rendered. I had to contest multiple Experian charges on my American Express Card. American Express immediately removed all erroneous Experian charges on my statement and the agent indicated there had been a ton of people calling in with similar Experian complaints. Many have considered filing a class action lawsuit against Experian, and you should read the excellent article by Tom Quinn on the class action lawsuit that was filed against Experian. Tom Quinn’s wisdom on credit, debt, and personal finance has helped and saved many from financial ruin. I believe Quinn worked for FICO( Fair Isaac) and knows a lot about how your credit score is calculated.

I know that it is not fair that my credit score is effectively Experian’s property and they profit from that ownership. Also, if you call Experian trying to fix a mistake in your credit history or to get a free credit report, they will do their best to sell you some sort of credit protection product. Also, you can not get a “free credit report” WITHOUT first giving them credit card information!

We did file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce in Allen, Texas which is where Experian is located. The BBB representative subtly indicated that she had received countless complaints by many very angry, upset, and pissed off people.

Also a word on what is meant by a credit freeze. One can freeze their credit histories with all three credit bureaus at a cost of 10 dollars per bureau. You will be issued 3 PINS which you can use to thaw or unfreeze your credit when you decide to buy a house, a car, etc.

I think that freezing your credit is a good idea but it really does not offer absolute assurance that your good credit will not be compromised. Jeremy Vohwinkle states that when a credit report freeze is in place, no one can open a credit card account or take out a loan or mortgage in the account holder’s name, not even the account holder.

Mr. Vohwinkle is close to the truth in his claim, BUT all a credit freeze does is prevent Experian, Equifax , or TransUnion from releasing your credit records to potential creditors. A creditor  willing to take a chance could still issue credit in your name to an identity thief!

In closing, one could NOT be given better advice than “Watch the Clark Howard Financial Counseling Program”.  Clark Howard became very wealthy at an extremely young age and exudes common sense with respect to sound financial advice. Listen to him carefully and he will help to prevent you from getting ripped off.


6 comments on “Are you getting the Run Around from the Credit Bureaus?Add yours →

  1. I have worked in Roswell,NM for the school district for almost 20 years. The Chaves County Employees Credit Union will not underwrite home mortgages but I have had good luck securing a few signature loans for home repairs and medical emergencies.

    Last summer I went in trying to finance a used car that had a blue book value of $11000. They told me they would have to run credit history on me with all three of the credit bureaus. Two of them came up good but Exparian, I think or maybe Equfax, would not pull up. They would not give me loan even though I have never been late on any payments in my life! I marched on out of there and was able get loan online with Quicken, who only needed two out of the three bureaus, at less than 3% Quicken told me they would set me up with direct deposit for my paycheck, so as sad as it sounds, I will probably dump credit union after close to 20 years!?

    Small town credit unions are a dying breed getting beaten badly by online lenders. I remember the days when there was no such thing as Credit scores and credit union knew your reputation around town and had freedom to make the call on whether to lend you the money or not. Now they are slaves to credit scores. Oh well, times are changing.

    1. I don’t think Valerie would have rejected your loan unless there is something you are not telling us. Maybe a bankruptcy or an expensive divorce? All that stuff shows up on Experian and you you cannot blame her. She has to present your loan as a viable risk to her board of directors. Also, don’t brag too much about getting a loan from Quicken at 3 per cent. You coulda got one from her at less than two points if there were not problems on your financial history.

      1. It is not the credit Union’s fault that they are stuck with Experian. Employees are just adhering to policy set by their boss.

        I would like to share my own nightmare with them to show lenders how much business they are losing to unfair policy of Experian.

        I urge you to stay away from their Credit Tracker because of its ideceitful tactics to con people into a membership subscription. Viewing your credit report is advertised as costing only one buck and therefore requires credit card information of the applicant. However, the applicant actually gets automatically enrolled in the 7-day trial of the Experian membership, which after 7 days automatically bills the applicant’s credit card with $24.95. This payment is also non-refundable due to their “terms and conditions”. Besides that, there is no e-mail confirmation of any sort notifying the applicant of their trial or new enrollment, keeping the applicant completely unaware of the enrollment.

        The real horror is they have multiple barriers built into their system to prevent you from talking to live person. This allows them to continue billing you $29.95 per month. I had to jump through hoops with my American Express Card people to get them to stop automatically deducting!! The agent told me a lot of his calls are from extremely irate Experian customers.

        I seem to remember the name Valery when we lived in Roswell. She is a sweetheart and has been at credit union forever. Too bad she has to associate her good name with the scummy practices of these places.

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