Financial Shenanigans: Credit Reports Tell You One Thing, Tell Lenders Something Else

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September 26, 2012 ‐ By

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has found that one in five people who look at their credit report are seeing a version that’s different from the one that lenders see when they pull that person’s info.

According to The Huffington Post, the CFPB examined 200,000 reports from the three major credit reporting agencies (it doesn’t specify, but that’s usually Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) and found that between 19 and 24 percent of the time, the differences in the scores were significant. Credit agencies use their own scoring models to determine a person’s score. As you know, banks and other lenders use these scores to determine whether a person is too much of a risk to lend money to. They also determine the cost of the loan you’re getting.

HuffPo reports, “[The discrepancy] could lead those consumers to waste time applying for loans they cannot afford or to take out loans with worse terms than they could get if they saw the same score as the lender, the consumer agency said.”

The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank law, which itself was a response to the Great Recession. The group has been charged with keeping an eye on 30 credit reporting companies, among other things. These findings demonstrate the need for an organization like this.

Unfortunately, if there’s information going to lenders that you’re not privy to, there’s not much that you can do. But, consumers would be smart to keep an eye on the credit scores they do have access to, making sure that there are no glaring mistakes and correcting ones that are found. Consumers are at a disadvantage, so they have to have a firm grasp on all the data they can control.
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