U.S. Consumer Watchdog to Oversee Credit Bureaus

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on Monday that it would begin supervising the leading credit bureaus, the companies that collect financial details of everyone’s life, according to the New York Times.

The bureau will oversee and make rules covering about 30 credit reporting companies, representing 94 percent of the $4 billion credit reporting market. The rules will apply to the three big credit reporting firms — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — and others with more than $7 million in annual revenue.

The credit reporting companies already must abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act and they have also been subject to Congressional oversight, but they lacked a single federal overseer, said the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray.

“The fact that this industry has never before been subject to any federal supervision means there’s a lot we don’t know about it,” Mr. Cordray said in an interview Monday morning.

Credit reports have increasing importance in consumers’ lives because they are used in many kinds of lending, by landlords in renting a property and even as a way to screen job applicants. And various reports have found that up to 25 percent ofcredit reports contain errors that could hurt consumers’ ability to borrow.

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