Category Archives: Credit Reports

Reporting of Collections Tradelines (Part 1)

An estimated 220 million U.S. consumers have at least one credit report maintained by the major credit bureaus of Expedia, Equifax, and TransUnion. And of these millions of consumers, one out of three have what’s known as a “collections tradeline” included in their reports. Yet most Americans may not even know what a tradeline is, […]

What Should You Do If You Have Medical Debt on Your Credit Report? (Part 1)

According to a recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), almost one-out-of-every-five consumers has information relating to their medical debt on a credit report. And while medical debt is the most common type of collection information on a consumer’s credit report, medical debts aren’t a good indicator of creditworthiness. Medical debt is usually […]

Credit Bureaus Will No Longer Report Most Medical Debt

In mid-March, all three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—announced they would no longer include most medical collection debt on people’s credit reports. This is a major change that should have everyone checking their credit reports. According to the Washington Post, the credit bureaus will be taking steps to change how they report medical debt […]

Common Complaints about Credit Bureaus

This past January, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an annual report analyzing more than 700,000 consumers’ complaints about the three national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. According to the report, “In 2021, the NCRAs reported relief in less than 2% of complaints down from nearly 25% of complaints in 2019.” The unfortunate […]

‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ – Why These Programs May Distort Your Credit Score

If you were doing some last-minute holiday shopping online, you might have seen a new option as you chose to purchase your item: Instead of paying the full amount, you could pay a portion at the time of purchase and space the rest over time (often, four payments made every two weeks). But what that […]

Mistaken Identities on a Credit Report: An All-too Common Problem for People with Common Names… (and Those with Unusual Ones, Too….)

In 2014, 38,313 men in the United States shared the name “James Smith.” It’s impossible to know if any of them were related to each other, or the 34,810 Michael Smiths and 34,269 Robert Smiths also walking around. But we can expect that they, and the 32,092 Maria Garcias and 30,507 Maria Rodriguezes, all have […]

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Advisory About Name-Only Background Screening

What’s in a name? There is a great deal of frustration, confusion, and even difficulty navigating normal life if you are among the 38,000 Americans named James Smith or one of the 32,000 Maria Garcias in the United States. If you have a common first- and surname combination, it’s likely that you’ve been misidentified as […]

The Mixed-Up Files of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion: What Happens When You and Your Neighbor Have the Same Name

Is your name James Smith? If so, you’re not just not alone, but as far from alone as it’s possible to be. That’s because this is the most common combination of first and last names in the world. And chances are you’ve developed a way to distinguish yourself, at least in your social circle or […]

Frustrated, Furious, or Depressed Because of a Credit Report Glitch? How to Fix It, Fast!

Have you ever been denied a bank or credit union loan, had an apartment application denied, or stood red-faced and sweating as the supermarket cashier says your debit card has been declined? If so, you know that financial and credit-related issues can be embarrassing and anxiety-inducing. But did you realize that you could be compensated […]

Credit Reports: Not As Accurate As You Might Think

Your credit score wields a lot of influence over your life. It can be the make-or-break determinate when buying a car, securing a mortgage, or accessing a line of credit for a new business venture. We’d like to think the logic behind our score is pretty bulletproof, but that may not be the case. In […]