This year, Experian launched another program called Experian Go, a free program to help people with no credit history begin building credit on their own terms,
“We believe every individual deserves the opportunity to reach their fullest financial potential and we’re proud to be the only credit bureau with a program to help credit invisibles build their credit history in minutes,” said Craig Boundy, CEO, Experian North America. “This new program is a direct reflection of our mission to bring financial power to all.”
In theory both programs sound great, but it is likely that Experian is getting more out of the deal than the borrower with the additional 10 points on their credit score. Rather than just receiving basic data about the number of open accounts and the timeliness of payments, with Boost and Go, borrowers are allowing Experian an in-depth look at how they spend each penny.
Perhaps we could give Experian more of a pass if they had done a decent job of responding to consumer complaints, but in 2021, Experian — along with the other two credit bureaus — reported relief in response to less than 2% of covered complaints, according to a CFPB report, as compared to 25% in 2019.
“America’s credit reporting oligopoly has little incentive to treat consumers fairly when their credit reports have errors,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “[This] report is further evidence of the serious harms stemming from their faulty financial surveillance business model.”
Of the more than 700,000 consumer complaints submitted to the CFPB from January 2020-September 2021, 50% were related to the three agencies. Consumers submit more complaints about inaccurate information on their credit and consumer reports than about any other problem, stating that the inaccurate information belongs to someone else, and they often said they were victims of identity theft.
The findings from this study show that the system is not working for consumers, and that there are serious consequences when inaccurate information is — and remains — on their credit reports.