• Report: #409887

Complaint Review: Equifax

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  • Submitted: Thu, January 08, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, January 12, 2009

  • Reported By:Lake Forest California
Equifax
www.equifax.com Nationwide U.S.A.

EquifaxEquifax Credit Report Fraud Nationwide

*Consumer Comment: Noir

*Consumer Suggestion: You Still Need Some Credit Education

*Consumer Suggestion: You Still Need Some Credit Education

*Consumer Suggestion: You Still Need Some Credit Education

*Consumer Suggestion: You Still Need Some Credit Education

*Consumer Comment: Vantage not FICO

*Consumer Suggestion: Mike, there are still a few things you need to learn about the law, and credit scores..And..

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I started my career in consumer finance in 1996 as a Credit Manager for Norwest Financial (now Wells Financial) and have since held various positions in consumer finance ranging from Senior Underwriter, Director of Customer Service and Collections and Operations Manager for several smaller finance companies and brokers primarily in unsecured lending. I have over 12 years of experience reading credit reports and have analyzed thousands of credit reports for underwriting, collections and skip tracing during my career.

Experian, Equifax and Trans Union, HEREINAFTER referred to as Credit Bureaus, sell consumers fake credit scores that are 50-100 points higher than any real score model used by any lender.

As you may, or may not be aware, each of the Credit Bureaus have several score models each (FICO, Fair Isaac, etc) that they sell to different types of lenders designed specifically for their industries (credit card, auto loan, mortgage, etc.) for underwriting purposes.

A few years ago I obtained my credit reports from the Credit Bureaus through AnnualCreditReport.com when I was shopping for a new car and competitive financing options. All three Credit Bureaus offered to sell me my credit score for nominal fees ranging from $7-$10 each. Although I could pull my credit reports through my former employer at their cost of just over $3.00 each and reimburse the company, the inquiries a work would be hard inquiries which could negatively affect my scores. For those reasons and for privacy and security reasons (my co-workers might be able to access my credit reports) I opted to pay more for the soft inquiries that would not count against my credit scores. All three credit score I purchased were in the mid 800's which I immediately knew to be impossible since I was not a homeowner and had less than 15 years of credit history. It is very rare for anyone without any past or present mortgages or with less than 15 years credit history and nearly flawless pay history to have a score over 800 and in a decade of experience evaluating thousands of credit reports the highest score I have ever seen was close to 850. My real credit scores at the time were in the mid 700 range (the finance manager at the car dealership let me see all three credit reports shortly thereafter)

I confronted our Trans Union account rep at my office and asked him which score model they are selling to consumers at first he tried to dodge the question before admitting that they are an arbitrary model not used by lenders that is 50-100 points higher that most score models purchased by lenders. I expressed concern that this was misleading and that there were no disclosures regarding this on the website and that in addition to my experience I have been getting numerous complaints from applicants that purchased their credit score online only to discover their real score used for underwriting are typically 50-100 points lower. I told I felt defrauded and that they along with the other two credit bureaus were taking advantage and defrauding consumers that have very little financial knowledge. He did not have any response to my concerns.

It is my opinion that the credit scores sold by the Credit Bureaus lacks warranty of merchantability because they are useless and have not economic or intrinsic value and are being fraudulently misrepresented as credit scores used by actual lenders for underwriting purposes.

I have report this to the Federal Trade Commission which has failed to respond or take any action whatsoever. This seems to be a pattern of the federal enforcement agencies (FTC, SEC, et al) that seem more concerned with protecting large corporations than vulnerable consumers and investors under the current administration.

I only hope that someday an aggressive consumer rights advocacy law firm files a class action suit against the Credit Bureaus for the likely millions of dollars they have bilked out of unknowing consumers for useless credit score that mean nothing on the real financial world.

Mike
Lake Forest, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/08/2009 09:35 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Equifax/nationwide/EquifaxEquifax-Credit-Report-Fraud-Nationwide-409887. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Noir

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (U.S.A.)

Since when do the credit reporting bureaus give away credit scores? They certainly weren't doing that a few weeks ago. They're only required to give you free access to your full credit report.

I think Mike's complaint is that he accepted an offer to buy his credit scores at the same time he was getting his free credit report, and what he got was the relatively useless Vangtage score, instead of a useful FICO score.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

You Still Need Some Credit Education

AUTHOR: Noir - (U.S.A.)

...i.e. FICO and "Fair Issac"are the same thing..i.e. FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation so you could not have obtained both FICO and "Fair Issac" scores)

Second why in the world did you pay for your credit scores when you can get them for free from the three major credit reporting bureau (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian)?

In addition there is ChoicePoint, but I do not believe that as a consumer you can obtain your ChoicePoint profile...now that is where the real ripoff lies....
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

You Still Need Some Credit Education

AUTHOR: Noir - (U.S.A.)

...i.e. FICO and "Fair Issac"are the same thing..i.e. FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation so you could not have obtained both FICO and "Fair Issac" scores)

Second why in the world did you pay for your credit scores when you can get them for free from the three major credit reporting bureau (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian)?

In addition there is ChoicePoint, but I do not believe that as a consumer you can obtain your ChoicePoint profile...now that is where the real ripoff lies....
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

You Still Need Some Credit Education

AUTHOR: Noir - (U.S.A.)

...i.e. FICO and "Fair Issac"are the same thing..i.e. FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation so you could not have obtained both FICO and "Fair Issac" scores)

Second why in the world did you pay for your credit scores when you can get them for free from the three major credit reporting bureau (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian)?

In addition there is ChoicePoint, but I do not believe that as a consumer you can obtain your ChoicePoint profile...now that is where the real ripoff lies....
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

You Still Need Some Credit Education

AUTHOR: Noir - (U.S.A.)

...i.e. FICO and "Fair Issac"are the same thing..i.e. FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation so you could not have obtained both FICO and "Fair Issac" scores)

Second why in the world did you pay for your credit scores when you can get them for free from the three major credit reporting bureau (TransUnion, Equifax, Experian)?

In addition there is ChoicePoint, but I do not believe that as a consumer you can obtain your ChoicePoint profile...now that is where the real ripoff lies....
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#6 Consumer Comment

Vantage not FICO

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (U.S.A.)

I think I see what Mike is complaining about. He thought he was getting a FICO score, which is used by 99% of the industry, and he got the relatively useless Vantage score. Basically, the money spent on the Vantage score was a complete waste.

The three credit reporting agencies have been trying to cut into Fair Isaac's (FICO) business by producing their own version of the credit score. The problem is that most lenders continue to use FICO scores and very few have switched to Vantage. This makes the Vantage score that you purchase with your credit report next to useless. I think Mike's complaint is that they don't really explain this when pitching the purchase of your "credit score".
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Mike, there are still a few things you need to learn about the law, and credit scores..And..

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Mike,

First of all, making a report to the FTC will do nothing for you, as the FTC does NOT do "individual enforcement", nor do they respond to individual complaints except for an auto reply via a form letter.

Your ONLY way to enforce the FCRA is through the court system. That's it.
There is no government agancy that will do it for you, as it is a civil matter.

Second, the law allows for a variation in scores due to different scoring models between consumer reports and those used by lenders. Here it is:

Section 609(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, reproduced below, spells out that the score you get from the consumer reporting agencies (credit bureaus) doesn't have to match the score used by the lender.

(f) Disclosure of Credit Scores
(1) In general. Upon the request of a consumer for a credit score, a consumer reporting agency shall supply to the consumer a statement indicating that the information and credit scoring model may be different than the credit score that may be used by the lender, and a notice which shall include --
(A) the current credit score of the consumer or the most recent credit score of the consumer that was previously calculated by the credit reporting agency for a purpose related to the extension of credit;
(B) the range of possible credit scores under the model used;
(C) all of the key factors that adversely affected the credit score of the consumer in the model used, the total number of which shall not exceed 4, subject to paragraph (9);
(D) the date on which the credit score was created; and
(E) the name of the person or entity that provided the credit score or credit file upon which the credit score was created.

Third, you may need to get some education on the new "Vantage Score" system which is totally different in both score range and model.

Under the old scoring system, the highest score available is 850, while under the Vantage scoring system, the highest score is 990. You could multiply your VantageScore by 0.86 (850/990) to get a rough approximation of your FICO score.

Here is the difference in the scoring model between FICO and Vantage.

Vantage score
Payment history 32%
Utilization 23%
Balances 15%
Depth of credit 13%
Recent credit 10%
Available credit 7%
Total 100%

FICO score
Payment history 35%
Length of credit history 15%
Amounts owed 30%
Types of credit uses 10%
New credit 10%
Total 100%

>>>>

Fourth,

The credit monitoring services are not usually as up to date as when you pull your score directly from the bureau. There is a delay in the update of your files with these services which greatly affects your scores as compared to a direct pull from the bureau.
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