How Banks and Credit Bureaus Can Resolve Customer Issues Together

Customers complain to credit bureaus about a variety of issues – often not understanding how their issues will be resolved between their banks and the credit bureaus. While some of these complaints can be resolved by credit bureaus, many cannot. And many frustrated customers duplicate their complaints to all three of the credit bureaus, choosing one of the top three issues:

  1. “Incorrect information on your report”
  2. “Problem with a credit bureau agency’s investigation into an existing account”
  3. “Improper use of your report”

Using PositivityTech®’s proprietary topic modeling algorithms, you can unveil hidden issues that cannot be resolved by the credit bureau alone. These issues relate to your customers’ ability to use their banking product and how they are being treated as they seek resolution. 

Using PositivityTech’s proprietary Severity Score combined with topic modeling algorithms, the following three complaint topics to credit bureaus are the issues that frustrate customers most. 

Below you can see examples of customer complaints about these issues:

“I have attempted for almost a year to contact X with no success. The one time I did get in contact with a live representative, they lied and said that I didn’t submit a police report. I did multiple times. My identity was stolen and now irreparable injury has occurred due to the neglect by X to remove the fraudulent accounts from my credit profile. This is my final attempt and notice that I will file a federal lawsuit against them if they will not comply with the laws that govern them.”

“So they basically turned down a payment from me… but I am late … How can that be legal or even fair? I’ve had white friends do the same and they were helped ….I’d hate to think, say, or tell people that this was something racist… [I] wanted to make a payment… [I] even told a representative.”

Inside duplicate complaints to credit bureaus

The percentage of customers who send duplicate complaints to credit bureaus has risen since 2019. These duplicate complaints focus more on bureau products or servicing, such as credit monitoring or credit scores.

These customer complaints also include issues such as threatening to take legal actions, and utilize very specific legal language. This suggests that these complaints are either submitted by consumers’ legal representatives or credit repair companies attempting to have negative credit information removed. Below you can see an example of one such complaint:

“After I submitted [verification of my identity], nothing has been done to remedy my complaint. X continues to report old time barred debt, and old collection accounts that are past… the credit reporting statute of limitations. I have now hired a Consumer Protection Attorney to remedy the situation. If they do their jobs and fix the errors on my report, and remove the judgments, tax lien, and public records, then I will not have to push forward in a lawsuit.”

According to the CFPB, complaints could be deleted if they are submitted by unauthorized third parties. The PositivityTech process identifies complaints which are deleted.

Inside duplicate complaints to both credit bureaus and financial institutions

When customers duplicate their complaints and submit their complaints to both credit bureaus and their financial institution, the complaints include issues related to loan origination as well as servicing.

The graph below shows one bank’s growth in customer complaints about credit bureaus during the last three years. These customers complain both to the bank itself and to the credit bureaus at a rate that is more than twice that of other financial institutions’ customers. Banks and credit bureaus must work together to solve these issues.

Below you can see two such examples of customer complaints:

“[A] hard inquiry and soft inquiry were both documented on my credit report from X. I have not nor did not initiate this inquiry… I was notified of the inquiry through a credit monitoring service, then immediately contacted X. They stated no new accounts were open but failed to respond to why an inquiry would have been done without my initiating it… After 3 attempts with X, they referred me to the credit bureaus and I see the listed inquiry. I need it removed.”

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, I missed payments. I called X and told them I would be late on payments as the pandemic had cost me my job due to a state-mandated shutdown. X’s response was for me to make any payment I possibly could afford, and if no payment was made that I could send a hardship letter at a later date to have negative items removed from my credit report. I complied with X’s request until I contracted the virus in which I was hospitalized and suffered physically for months. Once I recovered, I contacted X and was told my account was delinquent and has been closed for nonpayment. I also discovered that X reported every late payment to all three credit reporting agencies…. Although the account was closed, I have made payments to bring my account current. 5 years of perfect payment history… and due to a pandemic that was out of my control, X deems fit to destroy my credit, all while ignoring government policies.”

The key to resolving customers’ issues

Customers complain to the CFPB because they can’t get their issues resolved. When you are able to analyze financial institution data, credit bureau data, and customer voice data simultaneously, you can improve customer resolution. With PositivityTech’s analysis capabilities, credit bureaus and financial institutions will be able to do just that.

Interested in learning more? Schedule a PositivityTech demo by emailing me at marcia.tal@positivitytech.com. I look forward to helping you uncover — and resolve — your customers’ greatest issues.