We belong to a fundamentally capitalistic society and the credit bureaus capitalize on consumer information. Unlike our legal system, the bureaus take no oath to uphold the truth, equity, or common good.
No citizen has a moral obligation to support any business venture, much less a publicly traded corporation which can easily destroy his or her financial life.
If it weren’t for federal laws that direct bureaus to remove most items after seven years, the credit bureaus would maintain every piece of credit information indefinitely – and errors would NEVER be corrected. Under federal law regulations, credit bureaus must practice credit repair themselves at the seven-year mark. Therefore, if removing good credit records after seven years by the credit bureaus is the right thing to do, why not do it sooner?
Credit bureaus do not concern themselves with the impact on consumers. Primarily, their profit margins guide their judgment rather than the rights of the consumer.
Credit report history often misrepresents the credit worthiness of the consumer. By tagging good citizens as deadbeats, they damage everyone – creditors, the economy, and most importantly – the individual! Several policies and techniques employed by credit bureaus are most abusive to the consumer. These we cite as justification of our opposition to the present credit reporting system. Seven years of credit bondage and TEN years slated for bankruptcy and various court actions, punishes the debtor unjustly. At no point, have the credit bureaus conducted a study determining that seven years is the point of rejuvenation. The seven-year mark is entirely arbitrary. In fact, Dr. Bonnie Gution, a consumer affairs advisor to President George Bush, remarked “It is our understanding that computer models that predict credit information find that most information that is more than 2 years old is nonessential.”
Based on the experience of NCF’s members, seven years is entirely too long. Within a year or two, most consumers completely recover from a financial crisis. For the remaining five or six years they are left hobbled – forced to rent homes, pay outrageous interest rates on sub-prime auto loans, forgo the convenience of owning a credit card and forced to pay cash for every expenditure!
The credit bureaus have not been able to maintain reasonable accuracy in their credit profiles. The bureaus claim an error rate of less than one percent. In reality, independent studies show that credit bureau error rates are closer to 79% percent. One bureau testified in court to a greater than 50 percent error rate. Unfortunately, the bureaus choose to error on the side of negative information.
The bureaus fiercely resist the correction of these errors. It costs them time and money. Credit bureaus make their money from the sale of information and from the sale of generic target marketing lists to invasive personal investigations. They cull a pool of information larger than any in the world. The loser is the one who values privacy. Jobs are lost, insurance cancelled, reputations ruined – all by error-prone collection of records, sloppy record keeping and up-for-grabs dissemination of information.
“We need a grand scale revision of the US credit reporting system.”
Recently, we noticed high incidences of incorrect merging of files – one of the biggest mistakes made by credit bureaus! In a file merge the credit information of another person with a similar name or social security number is mistakenly included in the file of an innocent bystander.
America is not the only country that utilizes a Consumer Credit Reporting system. However, most other countries extend credit based on present standings. For example, in England Equifax and Experian cannot maintain credit information longer than five years. Americans are in desperate need of a revised Credit Reporting system. Until then, American’s need to realize that the removal of derogatory credit items, prior to the current seven year mark is NOT unpatriotic, unfair or unethical!
By expelling the consumer from the credit loop, the economy suffers. Many of our members come to us on the upswing. By making our memberships affordable, our clients soon find their way back to financial freedom and abundance. Our members are consumers who fully recover from a crisis, anxious to re-enter the credit economy, and go on to become financially responsible. As a result, our customers are given a well deserved “parole” from predatory lending practices.