Complaints against credit reporting agencies have nearly doubled from 2021 to 2022, according to a report released by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. The report analyzed complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and found that the “Big 3” credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – received the most complaints in 2022, totaling 69% of all complaints.
The report, titled “Big Credit Bureaus, Record Complaints: a look at increases in CFPB consumer complaints 2021-2022,” highlights the increasing frustration of Americans with the credit reporting system. Complaints against the Big 3 credit bureaus were more than double the number of complaints against the next seven most-complained-about companies combined.
The CFPB’s consumer complaint database compiles complaints in nine product categories, and the report found that complaints in eight of those categories, aside from credit reporting, also increased from 2021 to 2022. The top three categories with the highest increase in complaints were student loans, checking and savings accounts, and credit card or prepaid card complaints.
The report also identified new financial technologies, such as digital wallets, virtual currency, and credit repair, as a top-ten complaint category, highlighting the challenges of addressing consumer protection issues in the rapidly evolving financial landscape.
On a per-capita basis, consumers in Georgia, Delaware, Florida, the District of Columbia, and Alabama filed the most complaints. The U.S. PIRG Education Fund based its analysis on a study of complaint totals in the CFPB’s public consumer complaint database, and has released a short video showing how easy it is to use the database to aid consumers, reporters, and others.
In response to the report, Ed Mierzwinski, senior director for federal consumer programs at U.S. PIRG Education Fund, stated that he has been studying credit reporting complaints for over 30 years, and “cannot comprehend how little the credit bureaus’ poor treatment of consumers has changed.” He added that the complaints in the CFPB database “act like an alarm system,” alerting the CFPB to problems, who the culprits are, and what actions need to be taken.
The report is part one of a two-part series on the CFPB. Part two, titled “Watching Wall Street: Top 20 Actions the CFPB Took in 2022 Making the Marketplace Safer for Consumers,” is set to be released on March 16, 2023.
As a consumer protection lawyer who sues credit reporting agencies, this report highlights the need for consumers to have access to legal resources to hold credit bureaus, banks, debt collectors, and other firms accountable. The U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s report underscores the importance of the CFPB’s consumer complaint database as a tool for identifying and addressing consumer protection issues.
If you are experiencing problems with a credit reporting agency or any other financial institution, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of experienced consumer protection lawyers can help you navigate the complex legal landscape and fight for your rights as a consumer. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.