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Credit card history large part of consumer credit data, debt collection complaints most frequent

Richard Cordray

Richard Cordray

The CFPB released a report on Thursday that revealed credit card history comprises a large majority of consumer credit data and that complaints related to debt collection are the most numerous.

“Today’s study is another step toward bringing more clarity to the confusing world of credit reports,” Richard Cordray, the director of the CFPB, said. “It will help educate regulators and consumers about how this important industry works. If consumers know how these companies handle their credit histories, they can make better decisions on how to handle their financial lives.”

The report examined consumer experience with three of America’ largest credit reporting firms, including Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, all of which possess information on more than 200 million U.S. consumers.

Each month, the firms receive information from approximately 10,000 “furnishers,” entities that supply consumer data on more than 1.3 billion “trade lines,” which are individual information sources available on a consumer’s credit report, including credit card accounts, auto debt or mortgages.

The report revealed that more than 50 percent of all trade lines are supplied by the credit card industry. Forty percent are derived from bank cards, 18 percent from retail credit cards, seven percent from mortgage servicers or lenders and four percent from auto lenders.

Disputes related to debt in collections are five times more likely than conflicts arising from mortgage information. Additionally, fewer than 20 percent of consumers obtain copies of their credit report every year.

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