Luigi Wewege

Co-authored economic credit research presented before the United States Congress

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Section 319 of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003: Third Interim Federal Trade Commission Report to Congress Concerning the Accuracy of Information in American Consumers Credit Reports.

United States of America. Federal Trade Commission. “Pilot Study 2 on Processes for Determining the Accuracy of Credit Bureau Information” By Dr. L. Douglas Smith, Dr. Thomas H. Eyssell, Chloe Gray-LeCoz, and Luigi Wewege. Under government contract: FTC07H7185.

This important economic research study examined the accuracy in consumer credit reports using a nationally representative sample of consumers with credit histories. Participants in the study examined their credit reports from the three national credit reporting agencies and identified potentially material errors.

Participants disputed any identified errors using the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dispute process and were provided with new credit reports and credit scores. The original credit reports were then compared with the new reports and if any modifications were made as a result of the actions taken to dispute erroneous information, and the impact of errors on the consumer’s credit score was then determined.

Overall, 20% of consumers disputed errors and had modifications made to at least one of their credit reports. In many cases, the change to the credit report had no effect on their credit score, whereas 13% of consumers experienced a change in score due to their dispute. When focusing on changes in score that could impact a consumer’s credit risk classification, the study found that 5% of consumers had errors on their credit report that may be affecting the likelihood of receiving credit or the terms of credit received.

The summary overview of the credit research study is available online via the Federal Trade Commissions website here, as well as the final published research report which can be viewed here.

Report to the U.S. Congress on the Accuracy of Credit Bureaus

– 15th of October 2008.