Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it had established a process for assisting consumers with credit reporting complaints.  The CFPB previously had implemented similar processes for complaints relating to credit cards, mortgages, bank accounts and services, private student loans, vehicle, and other consumer loans.  The complaint process is intended to complement the CFPB’s recent initiatives to supervise the consumer reporting industry, including the CFPB’s final rule establishing its authority to supervise consumer reporting agencies and examination manual for consumer reporting agencies.

The announcement makes clear that consumers should not file complaints with the CFPB in lieu of or before disputing inaccurate credit reporting information with the applicable consumer reporting agency.  Disputing inaccurate information with the applicable reporting agency preserves certain rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and serves as the most immediate way of resolving inaccurate information.  However, if the consumer is dissatisfied with the reporting agency’s resolution of the dispute, the announcement encourages the consumer to contact the CFPB.  The Federal Trade Commission has a similar process for assisting consumers with credit reporting complaints.