How to File a Complaint Against a Credit Reporting Agency

by Barb Nefer ; Updated July 27, 2017

Credit reporting agencies like Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are required to follow a consumer-protection law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Unfortunately, there might be times when you feel credit reporting agencies are violating the FCRA, and they might be unresponsive to your complaints about the situation. The Federal Trade Commission monitors their compliance with the FCRA, so if you feel they are in violation, report them to the FTC using a simple process.

Step 1

Write up a detailed account of your complaint. Stick to the facts, leaving out any unfounded accusations or emotional words. Your complaint will be taken more seriously if it is objectively written.

Step 2

Make copies of any evidence that will back up your complaint. This might include letters or emails you have sent to the credit bureau, proof that they have received your correspondence, and their replies. Doing this will allow you to include the information with your complaint while still keeping the original documents.

Step 3

Mail your complaint to the Federal Trade Commission, the agency that regulates the credit bureaus. They do not take action on individual complaints, but they watch for patterns that indicate ongoing violations by the bureaus. If they notice a pattern of problems, they could decide to take action. You can also make complaints to the FTC by telephone, but doing so in writing gives you a chance to send your corroborating materials to back up your complaint.

Step 4

Notify the credit bureau in writing that you have filed a complaint with the FTC. If your complaint concerns a situation you are trying to resolve, such as a dispute about incorrect information on your report, the credit bureau might be more willing to take care of it if they know you have escalated the situation.

Tips

  • Even though the FTC will not take action on individual complaints, you can take your own legal action against the credit bureaus. After you have filed an FTC complaint, contact the National Association of Consumer Advocates to find an attorney who specializes in FCRA violation complaints.

About the Author

Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."