These days Americans are being forced to deal with a number of economic plagues. Perhaps the foremost is the largest unemployment in the history of our nation. It is estimated that 14 million Americans currently remain unemployed, which may be a large underestimation. Tied closely to the economic crisis and a second major issue involves out-of-control and rampant credit bureau power over our lives, which has a devastating impact on many of us.
During the past several decades in the U.S. , three credit bureaus have become so powerful that they can make or break American lives. They are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. Any one of them has the capability of causing many sleepless nights of worry for American citizens. On many levels they rival the power and control efforts of the dreaded IRS.
While within minutes any credit company may provide the bureaus with negative financial information or comments without proof on a person that can stay on an individual’s credit report for up to 10 years, it may take years for an individual to get an incorrect negative documentation corrected and/or removed. In addition, the bureaus are set up so that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to connect directly with a real person to discuss a credit issue.
The god-like power wielded by “the big three” recently caused a woman to be determined unacceptable for a residential mortgage because the bureaus recognized her as being dead. Based on the misinformation provided by the credit bureaus, she was refused a mortgage. Creditors still do not need to provide documented proof for their negative comments on a person’s credit history.
The credit bureaus also may determine whether a prospective employer will hire you, based on your financial credit report. Why should a person’s financial status determine whether he or she is eligible to be hired for a job? Financial hardship should not be the reason not to hire a prospective employee.
It is absurd and unconscionable that entities with such little oversight have such immense power over the financial lives of American citizens. It is time to diminish the extent of that power in the best interests of, and in furtherance of the personal rights of, American citizens. Congress and the President have done little to protect Americans and it is time they act quickly and responsibly to remove some of the omnipotent power provide these apparent meglomaniacs. It is time that our elected officials develop new and improved laws governing credit bureaus that better protect American citizens.