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WASHINGTON -- The United States’ ‘big three’ credit bureaus --- Experian, TransUnion and Equifax --- announced Tuesday that the companies would continue to provide free weekly credit reports for an additional year. The companies pointed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for maintaining consumer access to the free credit reports.
Normally, federal law entitles consumers to one free credit report each year as well as additional free reports under certain circumstances, such as credit denial. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the nationwide credit agencies began offering access to free weekly reports.
In response, Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG Senior Director for Federal Consumer Programs, issued the following statement:
“Free credit reports cost these firms virtually nothing. The credit bureaus made this announcement just one day after a U.S. PIRG Education Fund report found that a record-shattering number of complaints was made to the CFPB in 2020 with more than half of the complaints coming from the Big Three credit bureaus.
“These credit reporting companies need to start following the law. They need to improve credit report accuracy, conduct timely complaint reinvestigations and fix their mistakes. Also, why aren't they providing free credit scores with the credit reports? And instead of the educational scores that the CFPB has fined the bureaus --Experian, Equifax and TransUnion -- for deceptively marketing, why not make those scores the actual scores lenders use?”
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