By JLP | May 16, 2011
I stopped by Starbucks yesterday afternoon with my wife, daughter, and my mom. While waiting for our drinks, I looked at the front page of the Sunday edition of the New York Times. On the front page was an article titled, With Credit Bureaus, It Pays to be on V.I.P. List. Here are the opening paragraphs:
The credit rating bureaus, whose reports influence everything from credit cards to mortgages to job offers, have a two-tiered system for resolving errors — one for the rich, the well-connected, the well-known and the powerful, and the other for everyone else.
The three major agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, keep a V.I.P. list of sorts, according to consumer lawyers and legal documents, consisting of celebrities, politicians, judges and other influential people. Those on the list—and they may not even realize they are on it—get special help from workers in the United States in fixing mistakes on their credit reports. Any errors are usually corrected immediately, one lawyer said.
For everyone else, disputes are herded into a largely automated system. Their complaints are often electronically ferried to a subcontractor overseas, where a worker spends, on average, about two minutes figuring out the gist of the matter, boiling it down to a one-to-three-digit computer code that signifies the problem — “account not his/hers,” for example — and sending a dispute form to the creditor to investigate. Many times, consumer advocates say, the investigation translates to a perfunctory check of its records.
Why is this front page news?
Wouldn’t the rich, well-connected have lawyers and such to handle such matters? Is it any surprise that such errors would be taken care of quickly?
The bottom line is you have to be on your toes. You have to keep on eye on your credit report. The article mentions some lady who was denied a job because of a credit report error. It might be a good job to check your credit report before you start looking for a job.