Sunday, April 4, 2010

Credit Bureaus are too powerful, printed in The Lone Star Iconoclast

Credit Bureaus Playing God At Our Expense
Wednesday, March 17 2010 12:00 am

Time To Quell Excessive Power Of Credit Bureaus

Why does the government permit credit bureaus such lax oversight?  Where is consumer protection?

During the past several decades in the U.S., three credit bureaus have become so powerful that they can make or break American lives.

They are Equifax (a.k.a., CSC), Experian and Trans Union. Any one of them has the capability of causing many sleepless nights of worry for American citizens. On many levels they rival the power and control efforts of the dreaded IRS.

While within minutes any credit company may provide the bureaus with negative financial information or comments on a person that can stay on an individual's credit report for up to 10 years, it may take years for an individual to get an incorrect negative documentation corrected and/or removed.

The God-like power wielded by "the big three" recently caused a woman to be determined unacceptable for a residential mortgage because the bureaus recognized her as being dead. Based on the misinformation provided by the credit bureaus, she was refused a mortgage.

The credit bureaus also may even determine whether a prospective employer will hire you, based on your financial credit report. Why should a person's financial status determine whether he or she is eligible to be hired for a job?  Financial hardship should not be the reason NOT to hire a prospective employee.

It is absurd and unconscionable that financial entities with so little oversight have such immense power and influence over the lives of American citizens.  It is time to diminish the extent of that power in the best interests of, and in furtherance of the personal rights of, American citizens.

Contact your representatives and demand an end to credit bureaucratic control over our lives.

(Peter Stern, a former director of information services, university professor and public school administrator, is a disabled Vietnam veteran who lives in Driftwood, Texas.)

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