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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Comprehensive CREDIT (Credit Reporting Enhancement, Disclosure, Innovation, and Transparency) Act of 2020 (HR3621). U.S. PIRG testified before the Financial Services Committee in favor of the bill, which would, among other changes:
- Take steps to make it easier to fix mistakes in credit reports.
- Improve free annual credit reports, which are already mandated by law, by including each consumer’s credit score.
- Narrowly restrict the use of credit reports for employment purposes.
- Limit the reporting of medical debt, which is both often incorrect, and not predictive of credit default.
- Shorten the period delinquencies can be reported on consumer reports from 7 to 4 years and lower the window for most bankruptcies from 10 to 7 years.
- Give struggling private student loan borrowers a chance to rehabilitate their credit.
The following statement can be attributed to Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG’s senior director for Federal Consumer Programs:
“This bill is an important step in protecting consumers. Our latest U.S. PIRG research found that half of all consumer complaints filed in 2019 to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were about credit report problems. Not only that, but the big three credit bureaus -- Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- were also the companies most complained about to the CFPB. That means they gave consumers more headaches and heartache than any other financial companies, including banks, debt collectors, credit card companies and student loan servicers.
“We commend Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters and the co-sponsors of the landmark Comprehensive CREDIT Act for addressing the Kafka-esque problems that credit bureau mistakes cause. The Comprehensive CREDIT Act will help make sure that consumers get all the credit and insurance they apply for at the price they deserve, and will also safeguard against being denied jobs because of problems with credit reports.”
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