Consumer credit report complaints hit record levels during pandemic—here’s what you need to know

Elizabeth Gravier

During the pandemic, a record number of consumers have filed complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) mostly about incorrect information found on their credit reports.

A recent analysis conducted by U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and the Frontier Group found that there’s been a surge in consumer complaints to the CFPB, the governmental agency created in response to the 2008 financial crisis to protect consumers’ personal finances from unfair banking practices.

According to the August 2020 report, there were 38,712 complaints as of July 2020, a 50% increase when compared to the same five-month period in 2019 (March to July). This surge was driven largely by credit report complaints, up by 86% during the pandemic period (March to July 2020) and accounting for 65% of the total complaint volume in July 2020.

Credit reporting complaints are typically the most common recorded to the CFPB, the report indicates, but the 86% jump is notable. According to the report, incorrect information made up the majority of credit report complaints while “nearly three out of four of these complaints allege that information on a consumer’s credit report belongs to someone else.”