Friday, July 6, 2007

Big Three Credit Bureaus Oppose Credit Freeze

A recent USA Today article described the effectiveness of credit freezes for preventing identity theft. 37 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws which permit a consumer to place a freeze on their credit report. Until it is lifted, the freeze can block access to the credit report and score by creditors as well as by the consumer themselves making it impossible for anyone to borrow money in the consumer's name. The Consumer Data Association, a tradegroup which represents the three major credit bureaus, has opposed freezes. They claim that freezes can hurt a consumer's ability to obtain emergency credit. However, the credit bureaus make millons of dollars annually by compiling and selling the consumer data, and freezes hurt that business. In 2006, Equifax earned $166.3 million dollars from the sale of consumer data. In 2006, Experian had $756 million in total sales. 21% of that revenue ($152.8 million) came from the sale of consumer data. Transunion is privately held so they do not have to release these figures. To learn how to place a freeze on your credit report and score, go to this website. Personal Finance News