For consumers who have ever had a problem getting a mistake in their credit report fixed, there's a new tool that can help.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is launching a new website to help resolve issues with credit bureaus, giving consumers one extra layer of protection when they have an issue on their credit report.
Instead of just filing the issue with the credit bureau, credit card users can follow up with the bureau to make sure their issue gets attention.
The bureau started watching companies like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and now they're helping individuals who have issues with these companies. It's the first time a federal agency has been able to do that, and Martha Cox, vice president of Family Foundations, says it's an improvement.
"What would happen before is I would look at my credit report, I would see something that was inaccurate, and I would report it to the credit bureau, and generally, not very often, but occasionally that complaint would have just fallen to the wayside, and then consumers may feel that they didn't have a next step," Cox said. "And what this really does is give them that next step to take to a different level to hopefully get the attention they need."
Those who have an issue still report it to the credit bureau, but if it's not resolved, they can go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website and file a complaint by just filling out a form detailing the issue. It can be anything from incorrect info, a credit bureau investigation or problems with credit monitoring or identity protection services.
This is the first time a government agency has been able to help people individually and examine and supervise credit bureaus. But Cox says it's still up to consumers to stay on top of their credit score.
"Be aware of what's on your credit report because you know what's happening with your life," Cox said. "You shouldn't rely on someone else to take responsibility for that. That's your job. What this does is, this provides one more place that people could go to resolve mistakes."
In addition to filing a complaint online, consumers can call toll free, fax or mail a letter.