A Bit of History
Credit reporting in the U.S. kicked off in the 19th century when retail merchants and other interested parties created loosely organized local exchanges of information. In a big, young and mobile country, lenders understandably wanted to know something about the people doing the borrowing. Given the cultural norms and the lack of reliable data around, creditworthiness was closely connected to popular notions of “character,” like honesty and thriftiness. This emphasis led local retailers to collect intimate details about peoples’ health, drinking habits and sexual behavior from newspapers and gossip. Being Jewish could also earn you a bad credit rating, or being Chinese, or Catholic, or unmarried, all of which were associated with questionable “character.”As communication technology developed in the 20th century, the loose-knit organizations evolved into credit bureaus that went national – they were actually among the first businesses in the U.S. to do so. They got quite savvy and efficient about zipping information about consumers from coast to coast. FICO was founded in 1956. Two years later it began selling its credit scoring system. It was the first company to develop algorithms for generating credit scores and got paid royalties for their use. As these systems grew and became more deeply embedded in the nation’s financial system, they increasingly impacted the the lives and opportunities of citizens. The work of advocacy groups defending consumer rights led to new laws that tried to address fairness and accuracy in credit scoring. In 1971, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gave consumers, among other things, the right to view and dispute reports. The laws continue to be tweaked in an effort to keep up with a rapidly expanding and increasingly influential business. In 2003, an amendment was passed giving consumers the right to view one free credit report a year. check out my site for more interesting info on Free credit repair, and yes we can show you how to remove negative info for your report.