TRENTON – A report analyzing consumer complaints about credit reports – which ranks New Jersey 10th among the 50 states in number of complaints filed – uncovered incidents of incorrect information and problems obtaining legally-mandated free credit reports.
In the report by the N.J. Public Interest Research Group, New Jersey ranked 10th in number of complaints, with 305. California was the runaway leader in complaints with 1,526, as the most heavily populated states were the ones with the most complaints.
When broken down by complaints per 100,000 residents, New Jersey dropped to 15th, with 3.5 complaints.
Among findings in the 48-page report, the big three national credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian – accounted for 96 percent of consumer complaints; incorrect information on a repot was the most frequent complaint; and nearly 3,000 consumers received relief – sometimes money – by going through the formal complaints process.
The report offered several suggestions to improve credit reporting, including making the complaint database more user-friendly, expanding public awareness of how to file complaints, and eliminating industry-created roadblocks to including credit scores on free credit reports.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, established in 2010, works to identify unfair financial practices and educate consumers.
The full report can be accessed: