Home > Personal Finance > CFPB Is Collecting More of Your Data

Comments 2 Comments

As part of its large-scale effort to better protect consumers from deceptive and misleading practices from a wide variety of bank and nonbank financial institutions, the federal watchdog agency tasked with regulating the industry has been collecting a massive amount of data in recent months.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now going about the process of collecting as much information from banks and other entities as it can, particularly pertaining to borrowers’ dealings with these companies, according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek.

For instance, it recently paid Experian, CoreLogic, and other data compiling companies $10 million for information on auto loans, payday lending and mortgages, and has also requested similar information on credit cards and other such products from a number of major lenders and banks.

“Within the next year, [the] CFPB will be the best place for consumer finance data,” Sendhil Mullainathan, the consumer bureau’s assistant director for research, told the news site.

These efforts have been met with some objection by the financial institutions asked to turn over the data in the course of regulatory oversight, because of the large amount of value they place upon it, the report said. A number of federal lawmakers have also expressed concerns about what such information compiling initiatives could mean for consumers and their privacy, with a few top Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee in particular having misgivings about the moves.

For its part, the CFPB says these efforts will include data that is largely anonymized — as is required by federal law — so that no information about the people involved can be gleaned from it, the report said. The intent is that consumers will be able to comb through this information and determine more about their options related to financial products than they can currently, which in turn might help them to find the best possible choices for them and their unique situations. However, it has not yet decided on exactly how it will make the massive amounts of data public, or whether it will do so at all.

[Credit Cards: Research and compare credit cards at Credit.com.]

The CFPB has been improving safeguards for consumers’ finances since it gained regulatory power a few years ago, including bringing more types of institutions under its purview as a means of better protecting people from problems related to a broader number of products.

Image: iStockphoto

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

  • Pingback: CFPB Is Collecting More of Your Data()

  • MELODEE GRAHAM

    I HAD SOMEONE CONTACT ME FROM A COLLECTION AGENCY CALL MW OMEGA FOR A SO CALLED DEBT THAT I OWE TO AN ONLINE PAYDAY GROUP. I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THE GROUP NOR CAN I FIND THE NAME MW OMEGA WHICH IS THE SUPPOSED COLLECTION AGENCY. THEY HAVE THREATENED ME IN WAYS OF GETTING ARRESTED ETC STATING THAT THIS GROUP HAS CHARGES OF FORGERY, WRITING A BAD CHECK ETC…HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION BEFORE I FORK OUT MONEY TO THESE PEOPLE?

    • Credit.com

      Melodee — They can’t have you arrested just because you owe a debt. The fact that they’re claiming to have you arrested on charges for forgery and writing a bad check raises red flags that this is a scam. Don’t fork out any money or agree to anything until you read this first: Beware of Fake Payday Loan Debt Collection Scam

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team