John Oliver exposes the scary hidden dangers of credit reports

John Oliver

John Oliver is not happy with the current state of credit reporting in the United States.

On Sunday’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ Oliver set out to show why credit reports shouldn’t be “the basis for the single most important three-digit number in your whole life.”

Oliver takes direct aim at the three largest credit reporting agencies in the US — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.

“It’s not just banks deciding whether to lend you money,” Oliver said. “It’s also landlords deciding whether to rent you an apartment, insurers setting your rates, and even employers using it to decide whether or not to hire you.”

Oliver pointed out a 2013 study from the Federal Trade Commission showed that 25% of credit reports had errors and 5% had serious enough errors to affect someone’s ability to take out a loan.

“Just one error on your credit report, and suddenly the world treats you like a mean girl treats the high school debate team,” Oliver said, before imitating a teen girl saying, “You’re nothing, Amberly. You don’t even exist.”

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“When you are holding records for more than 200 million individuals, that 5% error rate affects 10 million people,” Oliver said. “They’re basically saying, ‘Great news, everyone: We only f—ed up a group equivalent to the entire population of Sweden!'”

Here’s his full clip taking direct aim at credit reports.

Written by Jeff Springer

Jeff Springer

Jeff Spring is the Finance & Markets Editor at He's currently spending his days backpacking across Europe. While he may be living outside of the United States, he stays connected to American financial markets and M&A's more than is probably healthy for any single person. His love of a good book and a Bloomberg terminal can't be understated.