Consumer trust in Equifax sinks after data breach

Confidence in other credit bureaus is above 70 percent, for Equifax it's 60 percent

Sabrina Karl
Personal Finance Writer
Data whiz and visual storyteller


Two months after announcing its massive data breach in September, Equifax was the least trusted of the three major credit reporting agencies, according to recently released data from Auriemma Consulting Group.

The data research and advisory firm surveyed U.S. credit card holders in November 2017 on how much they trusted each of the three major bureaus with their personal financial information. While there was little differentiation in the findings for TransUnion and Experian, consumer confidence registered markedly lower for Equifax.

Just over a quarter of respondents said they didn’t at all trust TransUnion or Experian with their financial information (27 and 28 percent, respectively), but for Equifax, the share expressing no trust was 40 percent.

Jaclyn Holmes, a research director at Auriemma, said consumer confidence is even bleaker for Equifax among victims of the breach: “The level of distrust is even more stark among those who believe they were impacted by the breach – over half of those individuals no longer trust Equifax with their financial information.”

Likely as a result, almost 8 in 10 consumers believe credit bureaus should be subject to tighter regulation (78 percent). That sentiment is at odds with current leadership at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has put the Equifax investigation on hold without requesting subpoenas against the reporting agency or seeking sworn testimony from its executives. 

Auriemma conducted its survey among 800 U.S. adult credit card holders in November 2017, and released the results on Feb. 2

Consumer trust in Equifax tanks after data breach

See related: Months after Equifax breach, no new data security rules, Q&A: What to know, what to do about Equifax data breach, Equifax breach exposes data of 147.9 million U.S. consumersMore infographics

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Updated: 02-17-2019