Disclaimer & Warning: Undoubtedly John Oliver’s raunchy humor that can include obscenities is not suitable for everyone. With that being said, he was SPOT ON with his analysis on the 411 of America’s credit reporting industry and the plight of consumer reports today.
Here’s some of what one of our favorite consumer advocacy websites, uspirgedfund.org, has to say about consumer reporting agencies: “The three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (NCRAs) – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian – collect, centralize and aggregate information about the credit and repayment records of consumers. They source that information from pubic databases – including court records, state and federal tax liens, and bankruptcy records – and from a wide variety of private actors, called ‘furnishers,’ who forward consumer credit information to them voluntarily. The NCRAs then distribute the information to ‘users’ – often companies providing financial products, from student loans to credit cards to mortages – who use the information to evaluate consumers’ eligibility for financial services. Increasingly, reports are also being used for employment and insurance purposes. In addition to the three NCRAs, a large number of ‘specialty’ consumer reporting agencies track a variety of specialized information, for example, some collect information on whether consumers have written bad checks to merchants or left banks with negative balances, while others may screen tenants based on previous evictions, and still others review public records or other histories of employment applicants.”