Credit Reporting Agencies are Out of Control

It is distressing to see how much reliance is placed on a credit report in America, as opposed to sound judgment or reasonable decisions. It leads some businesses and agencies to completely disregard every other determining factor and base their decisions entirely on a “score.”

I can give some personal insight on the matter. Myself and my wife recently went through the credit gauntlet that getting an apartment can be for someone with “challenged credit.” And I know it was frustrating for her, because her credit is perfect. I give her alot of “credit” for going through it with me. I had rented from individuals for years, so I had no idea who troublesome it would be. I found out I had a tax lien on my record from years ago (1991) that should have been expired off my record in 2001, at the very least. I went on to find out that the state of California had audited a tax return after the fact, and had imposed a lien after I didn’t pay the difference, even though I was never informed in the first place. They sent mailings out, but to an old address. I found out because a person at the rental agency was kind enough to tell me it was a reason for denial, so I could look into it. When I called the state of California, I got a fax that showed it expired, and I submitted the info to them that cleared my debt with them. But it still didn’t take it from my credit report, I have to submit the paperwork for that. I have been struggling with my credit for some time. Someone has in the past got ahold of my credit. I know I had an ex that did some things, and I also had my wallet taken from my car. So I am not entirely sure of the source, but needless to say, my credit has been abused. My report even showed me living in The Bronx, N.Y. I have never even been to The Bronx. A person can find countless similar examples. Some will say it is personal responsibility to know what is on your report. And I will give some credence to that argument. If I had looked some time ago, perhaps I could have resolved some of these items sooner. On the other hand, the companies should not make it so hard to clear up a bad report, and there should be more weight given to other factors when applying.

Yet the trend continues to be to use the credit report as gospel. Nothing else seems to matter to many agencies. In our case, we have an outstanding rental history, we have never paid rent past the first of any month. We meet all the income concerns. Yet our apartment hung in the balance of old paperwork. Thankfully, we were able to work around that this time. But it doesn’t change the fact that the credit system is wholly and totally screwed up. There are individuals who have glistening credit on the report, so credit card companies bend over backwards to send them new cards. Even if they don’t have an income source. yes, its true. Don’t get me wrong, I say more power to them. But it is frustrating to know that the credit report carries so much weight when it often has nothing to do with how a person will pay their rent.

I think that any exchange or purchase of services that is dependent upon the ability to pay should place more emphasis on that ability to pay and the record of doing such as opposed to a report. I can understand the need for some screening, but not to the point that it has been taken.

I look upon all the stories of people swimming in credit card debt, and unable to pay. And I think the ranks of those not able to pay will be growing, if the so-called “housing bubble” bursts, because so many people have so much debt focused on their home value. Thankfully, My wife and myself have virtually no debt. Yet many agencies will favor someone with mountains of debt over us, because of a bad report. I don’t like the idea of any agency or report wielding so much power over individuals, and having so little regard for those individuals.

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