Home > Uncategorized > Free reports, but not from the big three

Free reports, but not from the big three

December 14, 2012

The FCRA requires the big three consumer reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union – to establish a free site through which consumers can obtain one free credit report a year from each agency.

The FCRA does not require other CRAs – which are called nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies at 15 USC 1681a(x) – to make their free reports available through this central website, but it does require them to give consumers free reports once a year.  So once a year, consumers should also be able to get free criminal background reports, landlord/tenant reports, check reports, etc. from the various and sundry other CRAs that supply them.

The question is:  how?  With the big three, it’s easy:  just go to the centralized site and proceed from there.  With the specialty CRAs, it’s not as clear.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has noticed this, and it’s on the case.  It just issued a bulletin which reminds the specialized CRAs to have a  “streamlined process” in place to enable consumers to get their free annual report.  The bulletin is not terribly specific on what the streamlined process is supposed to be, but it does give the reader some idea.  Perhaps more importantly, it tells the world that the CFPB is on the loose.

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Categories: Uncategorized
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