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An overview of consumer data and credit reporting

Robert B. Avery, Glenn B. Canner and Paul S. Calem
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Robert B. Avery: Federal Housing Finance Agency

Federal Reserve Bulletin, 2003, issue feb, 47-73

Abstract: For some time, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has sought to obtain more detailed and timely information on the debt status, loan payment behavior, and overall credit quality of U.S. consumers. For decades, information of this type has been gathered by credit reporting companies primarily to assist creditors in evaluating the credit quality of current and prospective customers. To evaluate the potential usefulness of these data, the Federal Reserve Board engaged one of the three national consumer reporting companies to supply the credit records, without personal identifying information, of a nationally representative sample of individuals. This article describes the way the credit reporting companies compile and report their data and gives background on the regulatory structure governing these activities. This description is followed by a detailed look at the information collected in credit reports. Key aspects of the data that may be incomplete, duplicative, or ambiguous as they apply to credit evaluation are highlighted in the analysis. The article concludes with a discussion of steps that might be taken to address some of the issues identified. ; Also identified as FRB Philadelphia Payment Cards Center Discussion Paper 03-03

Keywords: Consumer behavior; Credit cards (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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