States Gain Power to Protect Consumers from Abusive Credit Bureaus

Credit bureaus routinely fail consumers, now states can step in and fight back

Andy Spears
2 min readJun 29, 2022


Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

A new interpretive rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) gives states the authority to protect consumers from abuses of the credit reporting industry.

The credit reporting industry is notorious for failing consumers — whether in terms of abusive data collection practices or refusal to correct credit report errors.

Consumer Group Applauds CFPB for Report on Failures of Credit Bureaus | by Andy Spears | Medium

“America’s credit reporting oligopoly has little incentive to treat consumers fairly when their credit reports have errors,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Today’s report is further evidence of the serious harms stemming from their faulty financial surveillance business model.”

The consumer advocacy attorneys at Finn Law Group have more on what this new rule means for consumers.

CFPB: States Have Legal Authority To Police Credit Reporting Markets (

According to Finn:

States can now enact safeguards against data abuse and misuse to further reduce risks to their citizens. This would give those individuals the right to know what data is being collected about them, the right to have inaccurate data corrected, and in some cases, the right to opt out of data collection altogether.

In addition, states can take enforcement action against companies that violate these laws. The CFPB affirms that, while federal law does not prohibit state activity in this area, it does not preempt such activities. The debate over whether or not states should have a role in regulating the credit market has also come to an end.

The move by the CFPB is one more step in the direction of pro-consumer reform. That’s reform that’s long overdue in an industry known for abusing consumers without apology or correction.

Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney at National Consumer Law Center, said of the industry:

“It is way past time for reform. The CFPB is the supervisor and regulator for the credit bureaus; what other industry would dare refuse to provide meaningful relief in 98% of the consumer complaints referred to them by their supervisor? This level of impunity against its own regulator must be met with swift, assertive, and uncompromising action that fundamentally reforms the credit bureaus in a deep, structural manner.”

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .