Since its inception just a little over a year ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken big steps toward making consumer financial markets work better for consumers and responsible companies, and consumer complaints have played a major role.

The agency began with credit card complaints in July of 2011, and as time passed, has added complaints about mortgages, bank accounts and services, private student loans, vehicle, and other consumer loans.

As of Monday, October 22, 2012, CFPB is now accepting consumer complaints about credit reports.

Credit reporting touches the financial lives of nearly each and every American. Credit reports affect whether or not you are able to get a credit card, a home loan, an auto loan, or a student loan, the ability to rent an apartment or get hired, and even tasks as simple as getting a cell phone or electricity for your home. It also can affect how affordable or expensive those things are for you.

CFPB can now provide consumers with individual-level complaint assistance on issues with their credit report, including:

  • Incorrect information on a credit report;
  • A consumer reporting agency's investigation;
  • Improper use of a credit report;
  • Being unable to get a copy of a credit score or file; and
  • Problems with credit monitoring or identify protection services.

Before You File a Complaint…

If you believe that there's incorrect information on your credit report, or if you have an issue with a credit reporting company's investigation, start by filing a dispute and getting a response directly from the credit reporting company itself.

There are important consumer rights guaranteed by federal consumer financial law that are best preserved by you first going through the credit reporting company's complaint process.

After you file a complaint with the credit reporting company, if you are dissatisfied with the resolution, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Every complaint received by CFPB helps the agency understand the challenges facing consumers, and they inform and shape its priorities. Reading your complaints about credit reporting will complement work that the agency has already started in this area.