The Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is calling on the American people to demand better of the nation’s credit reporting companies.
“If consumers begin to demand more, they can compel both the consumer reporting companies and furnishers to become more responsive and responsible to the public,” he said. “This means turning the established business-to-business model of credit reporting to focus more squarely on the needs and rights of consumers. In order to make this happen, it is necessary to stimulate even greater consumer awareness of the credit reporting system and how it matters to people’s lives. People cannot take control of their finances if they do not recognize how this system exerts substantial influence over their financial choices.”
Cordray added that the CFPB’s advocacy of the Open Credit Score initiative efforts to “expand access to free credit scores and by building consumer awareness of the availability of credit scores and credit reports” was crucial in helping consumers understand how they can use credit scoring data to “to achieve their own financial goals.”
Cordray also engaged in some self-congratulatory accolades by claiming that the CFPB was “the first government agency ever to supervise the national consumer reporting companies [and] the first federal agency to supervise all sides of the credit reporting market, from the consumer reporting companies that collect the information to the various companies that furnish it to them.” He added that in February the CFPB “has handled approximately 186,000 credit reporting complaints, with many expressing common issues over time,” and he added that the CFPB has been able to enforce a wide regulatory control over the full financial services industry.
“Our approach has been holistic, addressing not just the consumer reporting companies themselves, but also the banks and other financial companies that supply them with data, including mortgages, student loans, auto loans, credit cards, and debts in collection,” he said.