The Credit Bureau VIP List

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I was half-surprised to read about how credit bureaus have a two tiered system when it comes to their credit reports and how they resolve errors. Apparently, the three bureaus are quick to correct errors for the rich and famous, while the rest of us peons get relegated to their automated system that takes months to resolve even the simplest of problems.

According to the NY Times:

The three major agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, keep a V.I.P. list of sorts, according to consumer lawyers and legal documents, consisting of celebrities, politicians, judges and other influential people. Those on the list — and they may not even realize they are on it — get special help from workers in the United States in fixing mistakes on their credit reports. Any errors are usually corrected immediately, one lawyer said.

While the headline of the article is about the VIP list, I felt the most important part was the bit about how they resolve issues. I’m not so naive to think the world is fair and everyone is treated equally – it’s certainly not. However, knowing that all they do it send my request to someone overseas to code it is valuable. (“complaints are often electronically ferried to a subcontractor overseas, where a worker spends, on average, about two minutes figuring out the gist of the matter, boiling it down to a one-to-three-digit computer code that signifies the problem … and sending a dispute form to the creditor to investigate”)

If they aren’t spending more than 2 minutes, I’m not spending more than 2 seconds to get the ball rolling. If I see a problem with a credit report, I flag it immediately and let them sort it out. If they require documentation on my part, then I’ll waste my time trying to look it up and collecting it. Knowing they spend just 2 minutes is valuable, it lets me know that I shouldn’t spend much time either (at least in the beginning).

How do you feel about this VIP list?

{ 8 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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8 Responses to “The Credit Bureau VIP List”

  1. Adam says:

    It’s unfortunate, but this should not be a surprise to anyone. We’re all individually responsible for making sure our credit reports are correct. An ample amount of tools are available on the web to monitor, and help correct problems when they are encountered. Be vigilant.

    • dee says:

      “An ample amount of tools are available on the web to monitor, and help correct problems when they are encountered. Be vigilant.”

      hi adam,
      would love to know what sites these ‘tools’ might be on, if it’s no trouble.

  2. Wilma says:

    When I went for a mortgage 15 years ago I had to write letter after letter getting things pulled off my reports. Very slow process. I was shocked at what was on my report. All those on here that rent need to make sure that unpaid bills from the tenant before you moved in weren’t tagged onto your report.

  3. tbork84 says:

    Jim do you think you could link to another post of yours that describes how to flag errors in the report for people to head to if they happen to not be a VIP?

  4. Simon says:

    Why is this so surprising? That’s the way the world works.

    • skylog says:

      haha, sad, but true. it is funny, because this is just one of those things that never even would have come to mind with regard to how the “other half” has an advantage.

  5. Jan says:

    As a guy from europe i’m suprised by the problems you could get in when you’re credit report has errors.
    In my country we don’t have those agency’s, there is one actualy but you have to make some serious financial mistakes to get on the list.

    Why is it so important to get you credit report ok? i don’t have any debts and pay cash for most things or with a debit card.

    In the US credit ratings seems to be important even if you don’t have any debts. Why is that?

  6. Mike says:

    It shouldn’t be up to the consumer to make sure the credit report is correct. If you write something that is damaging about someone then you have committed libel. As such you should be sued. But these agencies somehow have gotten away with this. Where’s a good lawyer when you need one.

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