Abolish the three credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian, and Transunion
* THIS IS VERY LONG, PLEASE READ ALL OF IT - IMPORTANT. * Hi, I am a former homeless person. I was homeless for approximately 2 1/2 years. A big part of why I was homeless was that I could not get a job. Part of why I could not get a job was that I had a bad credit score. I learned that the three credit bureaus can say just about anything they want about you and there is little, if anything you can do about it. Yes, you can send in a letter to any credit bureau disputing a particular item on your credit report. Do they have to take that into account - NO. I disputed one item on my credit report and even sent in a copy of a letter from the company that put the item on my report telling the credit bureaus to remove it. The credit bureaus did not remove the item despite being instructed by the company ( Montgomery Wards) to do so. It stayed on my credit report for the full 7 years. Also, if you are unemployed, broke, homeless, in the hospital for an extended period (Heaven forbid) and you can't pay your bills for lack of money - all the credit bureaus are going to say is "Pay your Bills". They do NOT, repeat NOT, take any of these items into account when putting items on your credit report. I CHALLENGE ANY PERSON WORKING AT ANY CREDIT BUREAU TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: HOW DO YOU PAY YOUR BILLS WHEN:: 1) YOU HAVE NO INCOME OF ANY KIND.. 2) YOU HAVE NO MONEY. 3) YOUR TOTAL FINANCIAL WORTH IS $0.00. AGAIN, HOW DO YOU PAY YOUR BILLS UNDER THESE CONDITIONS? Answer is you don't. You don't like it but all you are trying to do is survive. You take every penny you make and spend it on housing, food, and, if you still have one, your car so that you will have a much better chance of getting a job. For various reasons I have gone through 15 years of bad times. I kept going down and down. I would get a job that would last almost long enough for me to get back on my feet and then lose that job, for a variety of reasons. During this time I was doing exactly what I said, I paid for housing, food, and gas for my car (luckily it was paid off). Yes, I could have sold the car, but I didn't and I have since learned (the hard way) how much harder it is to get a job if you use public transportation. Did I like it - no. I used to have a good credit score. Not the best, but good enough to get approved for a new car in ONE DAY in Odessa, Texas in 1991 by GMC financing. The person who appoved me bowled in a league that I bowled in and the same night that I applied for the car he came up to me and asked if I had applied for a car and I said yes. He told me he was the one who approve my application and said, and I quote "You were easy to approve." So you don't need the credit bureaus to get approved for something. But they can sure mess you up. During these 15 years I struggled to survive. I plead guilty to surviving. The result - My credit score dropped almost 150 points. I do NOT deny anything on my credit report, I just cannot dispute it and this is WRONG. If you don't have the money you don't. I am writing this during one of the worst economic times in the history of the U.S.A. Over 8 1/2 million Americans are unemployed. They are struggling to survive. Maybe some of them have enough reserve to pay all their bills, but probably the larger number are having to make the choices I made. They will be penalized by the credit bureaus just like I was. For surviving. The credit bureaus simply say if you paid or didn't pay. If you paid there will be a comment about it. If you didn't pay there will be a comment about that too. NOWHERE are you allowed to make your own comments. This makes the way the credit bureaus asses your credit rating HIGHLY INACCURATE. Until the credit bureaus are forced to allow you to put comments on your credit report they can say and do almost anything they want. I took out loans, got credit cards, and purchased things during the 15 years I struggled just like you do. I told these companies about my problems and they still let me do this. This too, is part of the problem. Now, when I apply for anything I am turned down because of my credit score. I will never recover. The one bright spot was J.D. Byrider. When I won my SSDI case I went there and talked to them. I told them that if they financed a car I WOULD PAY THEM. It took some discussion, but they did finance me a car. I will not miss a payment. I have checked my credit scores since I started making payment and it has gone down. This is B***. This is what I am talking about. The credit bureaus are immune. You could go down to you utility company, cable company, or just about anyone and try to work something out. NOT WITH THE CREDIT BUREAUS. They will say "Pay your Bills". I spent the last 2 1/2 years at a shelter for homeless men. I was, technically, a homeless person. I stated so in court, under oathe. While in the shelter I was getting ready for work (At this time I had had a job for about 5 weeks). I took a shower and dried off. I noticed the big toe on my left foot was black. I called for a couple of guys that had had some medical training. They told me I would have to see a doctor. I called in sick to work and the next day went to one of the local hospitals. I was admitted and one week later I had the big toe on my left amputated because of complications from diabetes. That's how I learned I was diabetic. I told the hospital, both verbally and when I filled out the admittance forms, that I had no way of paying these bills. Under Texas Law hospitals must treat you. The total for my hospital stay was $38,000. All of these bills have been reported to the credit bureaus and down went my credit score. I do not deny these bills, I simply have no way to pay them. I am on SSDI. Even if I could afford to pay $100/month I would not be able to pay these bills off before I die. I am 60, not 20. I cannot put any kind of comment on my credit report explaining that I had to make a decision - whether to lose a toe or a foot. That's the choice I had to make. HEY, CREDIT BUREAUS, WHAT CHOICE WOULD YOU HAVE MADE? They would probably choose to lose a foot. So, you have a technically homeless person, who has had a job for about 5 weeks being told to pay $38,000. I made $11.00/hr. You do the math. I cannot do anything about these bills. I am truly sorry about that, I mean it. I told all the doctors, staff, etc. about my situation. They knew that I couldn't pay these bills, but they also knew that under Texas State Law they had to treat me. I was treated with respect while in the hospital, which is more than I can say for most of the time I was in the shelter. It is not the fault of the staff that these bills have appeared on my credit bureaus. A couple of them called the shelter and verified that I was telling the truth. No, it was the companies billing departments that put these bills on my credit report and then the credit bureaus took me down again without my being able to do one thing about it. So, as you can see YOU can, and probably already have, been affected by three PRIVATE companies that you cannot do anything about. This has got to change. Millions of Americans are having their lives RUINED by these companies. Unless you have absolutely PERFECT credit I assure you, you have been affected. As I stated earlier even if you resolve your issue with a particular company and that company tells the credit bureaus to remove that companies complaint, the credit bureaus don't have to do it. HEY CREDIT BUREAUS, THIS IS CALLED LYING!!!!! I apologize for the lenght of this part, but I wanted YOU to know the TRUTH about these credit bureaus and the power they have over you and how little you can do about it. Our (the American People's) ONLY HOPE is to convince the U.S.Congress to abolish these companies because I assure you that, even if ordered to do so by the U.S.Congress the credit bureaus are NOT going to redo who knows how many credit reports. They will pull out all stops to keep from having to do so. It can be done, but it won't happen. Would solve the unemployment problem almost overnight, It would take at least 8 1/2 million people to do this. No, we, the American People, would be MUCH better off without the credit bureaus.