Wondering which consumer reporting companies can be held accountable by the public? Wonder no more: A list of “dozens of specialty reporting companies that collect and sell access to people’s data” was released Thursday by the federal consumer financial protection agency.
The annual list of consumer reporting companies from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) identifies the specialty companies that collect the data – which, the agency said, includes data on individuals’ finances, check-writing histories, or rental history records. The agency asserted the information about individuals is collected “often without their knowledge.”
The CFPB said that – unlike the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian), which allow consumers to check their credit reports for free once a week (at least through December) – many of the specialty companies charge consumers a fee to access the data.
According to the bureau, its list allows people to see which companies provide this information for free, as well as search for those that provide specialized reporting by specific markets, including employment, tenant, insurance, and medical.
If a consumer uses the list, accesses their credit history, and finds information that appears to be inaccurate, the agency indicated, that person has “the right to file a dispute and the consumer reporting company is required to conduct a reasonable investigation.”