Blog Contact Us
502.689.1001
FREE CONSULTATION!
Enter your details below to speak
with one of our credit experts today.

Article Details

April Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Credit Reports (HBO)

April 2016

0:00traffic reports the basis for the single most important three-digit number in
0:08your whole life other than of course 311 the Beatles of rap rock measuring
0:14critics enables businesses to know who to lend to it's critical to our economy
0:19and it always has been
0:20millions of people use credit to buy the things that add up to a better living
0:24through a lot of things that I'd like to buy for better living how about giving
0:29me a little credit
0:31nobody gives you something you have to learn to earn credit
0:36first you have to develop your character you have to have the capacity to pay
0:40your bills third you need some capital scoring high on these three ZZZ is
0:47essential to earn a good credit rating of course back then there was a full C
0:53determining you access to credit namely what color you were a bit weird that one
0:58didn't like the movie but what you might be surprised at just how many aspects of
1:03your life your credit report can affect banks deciding whether to lend you money
1:07it also landlords deciding whether to rent an apartment
1:11insurers setting your rights and even employers using it to decide whether or
1:15not to hire you
1:1647% employers do conduct credit checks on new potential hires and it is legal
1:22if the employer gets permission from the applicant destroyed nearly Hall of
1:27employers delving to credit histories when hiring I just look on Craigslist
1:30good you'll find credit checks required in all sorts of job listings from
1:34managing a Benihana in Cincinnati to this one which reads who runs those
1:40fireworks chance it could be you
1:42application with good credit check requires which is plainly ridiculous but
1:48only to bring credit into that job they just need to ask the question what do
1:52you think of fireworks and then hear the ANSA
1:55constrict brought love like most
2:00the only three pitches they need to see the ones on that person's two hands
2:04there are three big credit reporting firms Equifax Experian and TransUnion
2:13all three aggressively market their products for uses beyond lending for
2:18instance listening to how experienced convinces employers that your credit
2:21might reflect your future job performance if you manage your credit
2:25will then it's very likely you're going to manage the company's money well is it
2:30because look at me my credit is probably fine but routinely waste money on stupid
2:37costumes pyrotechnic displays and checkered dress shirts I'm truly manage
2:44this as well TransUnion their website explicitly states that credit reports
2:53help employees make decisions quickly and easily when deciding on potential
2:57candidate which is a little surprising given this exchange between a
3:01representative from TransUnion and an Oregon Legislature what is the evidence
3:05that there is a strong correlation between accessing an applicant's credit
3:11history and eventual problems of lost to the employer or to the plants I guess in
3:17that case was there this point we don't have any research to show any
3:22statistical correlation between what's in somebody's credit report and their
3:28job performance for their likelihood to commit fraud ok so they had mix there is
3:33no evidence of a correlation which does make sense because a good credit score
3:37could mean you're unlikely to commit fraud but it could also mean that your
3:42self king amazing you've never been caught and incidentally not thirty
3:47seconds later that guys said this given all things equal between two or three
3:52job applicants for person as a high high amount of debt forces somebody who
3:57doesn't and all things other being equal no maybe they want to consider that so
4:02what he's saying there's no proof of a correlation but your street imagine that
4:07there is
4:08which is not a strong argument I can imagine that eating alphabet soup will
4:13increase my vocabulary that does not make it
4:16indubitable in June giving too much credence to credit reports as a measure
4:28of character may be a big mistake
4:30over half the debt on credit report comes from medical expenses and it seems
4:35unfair to judge someone for that no one chooses to be sick with the possible
4:40exception of Julianne Moore taking a run at Best Actress but but also credit
4:45reports can contain a shocking number of errors a new government study found
4:50about 25 percent of consumers have an error in one of their credit reports the
4:54study also found about one in 20 had significant errors that could cause them
4:59to pay more for a car loan or mortgage just think about that warning full had
5:04an era and one in twenty was seriously wrong and that is not good if every 20th
5:09frosty Wendy's old turned out to be a cup of warm goat semen we wouldn't count
5:15ability and we want it fast
5:18least freeze it
5:21are not those those areas can be anything from including deadly you've
5:25already repaid to mixing you up with someone else entirely
5:29take what happened to a woman called Judy Thomas she couldn't figure out why
5:32she kept getting turned down for loans until she looked at her credit report
5:36card debt from Utah Medical Center I saw dead from a veterinarian clinic in Utah
5:43I thought collections for a Judith scandal to the scandal
5:51must crack was going through my daughter doing or how can someone call Judy
6:02Thomas be mixed up with Judith Kendall and also if she's going to be mistaken
6:06for anyone how is it not
6:07lesley stahl because he's actually gets worse because if a credit reporting
6:15agency matches your nineteen list of suspected criminals the USS sanctions
6:19against as they did with hammock Patel you may be in for an unpleasant surprise
6:24after being denied his dream apartment yes his landlord why as an answer
6:30the landlord for did his credit report from what does that say terrorists
6:41but terrible because as long as he's not a terrorist until I do hope you have a
6:47better strategy for dealing with terrorists
6:49plugging their credit reports and denying them their dream of North
6:54America Latin America and bring mixed up with the terrorist is not even the worst
7:01thing a credit bureau continue to someone who was shocked when she went to
7:05buy a travel trailer to learn she was dead
7:08financial manager came out and said do you have like a copy of your card
7:13because you keep coming up to ceased so I was like there's no way three major
7:18credit bureaus listed her as deceased I even paid at that point you to get my
7:23credit score you can't get anything when your deceased
7:28error on your credit report is suddenly the world treat you like a mean girl
7:33tricked the high school debate team you're nothing Amberleigh you don't even
7:38exist it would be bad if this just involved at three big credit bureaus but
7:48on top of that there are now hundreds of different companies providing even
7:52broader background checks which made bundle credit information with things
7:56like criminal or driving records and while some companies appear to operate
8:00responsibly others like general information services all jim is out
8:08there judge we actually found this phone video featuring Snow White coming to
8:14them for help now fairy tale is an industry that we specialize in but lucky
8:19for you are magic near can find anything with locating if only you were in the
8:25insurance industry we created tons of solutions for those glass
8:32equal opportunity employer
8:41a homophobic ferry joke it's hard enough to accept judgment from a company that
8:48would do that let alone delivered with the acting skill of a shoddy third
8:52grader and background check agencies can take all the problems of credit
8:57reporting while adding a few more and let's begin with the obvious as we've
9:01discussed before on this show a criminal record does not necessarily mean you're
9:04a bad person or that you shouldn't be hard but if you are going to use a
9:09criminal background check to make decisions at the very least they should
9:13be accurate and frequently they are not take a Samuel Jackson from Chicago no
9:19relation to the actor obviously all three different sex offenders one
9:26company confused him with even though one of those convictions happened when
9:30Jackson was just three years old or as his lawyer puts it the background check
9:35company was aware that mister jackson is only thirty years old so clearly
9:39couldn't have been him and obviously can be all 3 sex offender sex scene of
9:45course because there's only one person who could pull off being free sex
9:49offenders at the same time and that is Mr Neil Patrick Harris is insane he has
9:54got the performance shops to make you believe it is possible if you put it
9:58more if you put into it he could be the literal triple threat he's done
10:03a performer and remember these mistakes can cost people housing and jobs it is
10:12no wonder that many forms of wind up facing legal challenges for instance
10:16just last year
10:17GIS and their affiliates had 2 G's out thirteen million dollars in fines and
10:23damages and while they admitted no wrongdoing they've now lost so much
10:26money they next CT video is probably just gonna be a filthy parrot in an old
10:31warehouse streaming Polly wants a background check and at this point you
10:36are probably thinking holy shit I should probably check my background and credit
10:41reports
10:43well the good news he's under a local defect Credit Reporting Act the big
10:46three credit films are required to give you a copy once a year there's even an
10:51official site where you can get yours but if you do Staton era your trouble
10:55may just be beginning member Judy Thomas it took a surprisingly long time to get
11:01her credit fixed it became a six-year battle with credit agencies requiring
11:05box loads of correspondents to try and prove that she was Judy Thomas not judit
11:11candle to no avail
11:13a local attorney to try and straighten it out we had everything certified but
11:21this is Judy Thomas has never gone by the name of candle I've never even been
11:26to Utah
11:29a cable company in Utah and what happened nothing at this point I'm
11:37surprised you didn't just go on Judith Kendall I'm moving to Utah and I'm
11:42getting a sick pets and a cable package at least then my life will make some for
11:46kids but when we crunched the numbers we just got word that the three big credit
11:55bureaus have been the subject of the most complaints to the CFPB since the
12:00start of last year and they may say that sometimes they received inaccurate data
12:04from creditors of the mistakes don't originate with them but if that's true
12:08then method for solving those problems clearly needs to be better and in a
12:13settlement agreement just last march they actually pledged to improve their
12:17dispute resolution process but before you get too hopeful about that it's
12:21worth noting the industry has claimed for decades that they are always
12:24improving their accuracy and yet for twenty-five years now the new stories
12:29about them about something of a similar tone we found a reason to 25% of credit
12:35reports had tears serious enough to deny you credit a new study finds a
12:39staggering number of credit reports contain mistakes new study says credit
12:43reports frequently have errors that can be very costly for consumers the survey
12:47by the us- Public Interest Research Group down nearly one-third of all
12:51credit reports contain serious errors you don't have to spend long preparing a
12:55broadcast about credit agencies before you learn one simple true everyone and I
13:00mean everyone has a horror story it's pretty obvious that problems with credit
13:05agencies are a classic new story truck like oldest person dies or scary new
13:11teen sex drugs
13:13coming up we've all heard of Netflix and chill but what does it mean when your
13:17team is that going to Hulu and rimjob is nothing new about this problem in fact
13:29when we were researching Judy thomas' story we found a news clip about a
13:33lawsuit from 2002 that gave us it was the culmination of a six-year battle for
13:39Judy Thomas who tried repeatedly to get TransUnion to clear up the mistakes on
13:44her credit report from judy thomas was not even the only judy is almost this
13:52should happen to the lesson here is pretty simple if you or someone you know
13:57is named Judy Thomas give up there is no in like judy's like you and if anything
14:05things are even worse with background check companies because they are also
14:08required to give you a copy of your report if you requested but there's a
14:13massive loophole there because unlike the credit bureaus most of them don't
14:17keep files on all consumers they just search for data when someone pays them
14:22too and if you're about to apply for a job on apartment you might think we'll
14:25all die I want to be sure that there isn't a problem on my report so I'll
14:30just buy first myself so we actually asked these companies if they let us do
14:35that and they all said no meaning if they confuse you with a sex offender you
14:41might not find out until that job or apartment is all but gone and of course
14:45you know who you lost it too don't you
14:48Neil Patrick Harris he wouldn't even think he could take a certified public
14:52accountant job pretty chance so well so likable wallet photos
15:00no chili for some companies will sell you your own report so we had some of
15:09our staff does by their own background checks from a few companies won most of
15:13them came back fine five of our staff reports included alias names that they
15:17never heard awful and one stop at Charles Wilson was mistaken for a man
15:22who was indicted for Medicaid fraud in Florida now know that so it did say
15:27charles is listing was pending verification and it was later removed
15:30from his report but it was still too late because by that time and I
15:34Spartacus star showed support our entire office had already rallied around
15:38Charles uncommitted Medicaid fraud because we care about him and listen
15:46given the stakes knew you would hope that these background check companies
15:50are being closely monitored but as the FTC officials admit there was no long
15:54amount that they don't know is there any kind of national list of these companies
15:59know there isn't so we don't know how many companies companies are even out
16:03there no we don't and I think that's one of the key challenges yeah no shit
16:07that's why you can't just lose track of how many background check companies
16:13there are the way that we've all lost track of the number of REO flavors
16:17root beer float and the problem is this whole industry seemed uncomfortably
16:30complacent in fact that FTC study the I mentioned at the start which showed that
16:34one in 20 credit reports had serious errors and industry trade group put out
16:38a press release in response to that with the title FTC report confirms credit
16:44reports are accurate arguing that it showed 95 percent of consumers are
16:49unaffected by errors in their credit report but when you are holding records
16:53for more than 200 million individuals that five percent error rate affects 10
16:59million people they're basically saying great news everyone we only public group
17:04equivalent to the entire population of Sweden
17:08waitress only we could make this whole industry understand the Jeopardy they're
17:15placing people in you know what maybe we can because remember the big three
17:20credit companies Equifax Experian and TransUnion what we started three
17:25terrible companies with names that are problematically similar to their weekly
17:31Equifax Experian and Trans on you what do those companies do quite question
17:38just visit equifax you'll see that they take shelter animals to customers homes
17:43where the animals lick peanut butter off people's genitals and 4 p.m. immediately
17:47returned to the shelter
17:49is just an awful company but don't worry equifax I can't imagine anyone who
17:55mistake them for you and if you go to Experian dot com you'll find a company
18:01that sends people to whisper passages from nine camps in two babies northern
18:09Paris
18:10finally don't miss trams onion dot com where you can buy these delicious
18:15looking steaks from the flesh of dead orcas who worked at SeaWorld would
18:22clearly be an absolute disaster for the credit agencies if they were mistaken
18:26for any of these companies but don't worry I'm sure that won't happen
18:3195% of the time and apparently that's good enough right