Sunday, December 23, 2012

Credit Bureaus: the bad boys get more clout...

This article was printed back in 2009. Some things never change.

Time to Quell Excessive Power of Credit Bureaus, Sometimes Ruling Life or Death

by: Peter Stern, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
During the past several decades in the US, three credit bureaus have become so powerful, they can make or break American lives.

They are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Any one of them has the capability to cause many sleepless nights of worry for American citizens, and on many levels their power and control rival that exerted by the dreaded IRS.

While it may take only minutes for any company extending credit to 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 incorrect negative documentation corrected and/or removed.

The God-like power wielded by "the big 3" was recently brought to light when a woman was deemed an unacceptable applicant for a residential mortgage because the bureaus classified her as dead. Based on misinformation provided by the credit bureaus, she was
refused a mortgage.

The power currently exercised by the credit bureaus may also
determine whether a prospective employer will hire you since credit reports may be used to prescreen job applicants. Why should a person's reported financial status determine whether he or she is eligible to be hired for a job? The purported state of a person's finances should not eliminate the chances of a prospective employee.

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