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Fair Access to Credit Scores Proposed Legislation

In 2013, a new law is being brought before Legislators to help consumers better review and understand their credit scores.   This new amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act has several major changes in it that will help consumers.  Proposed by Senator Sanders, with the help of Senators Boxer, Feinstein, Menendez and Lautenberg, propose the following:

1)     Consumers have access to their credit reports for free once per year through  Previously, only the report was available, and not the scores.  This legislation proposes that when a consumer pulls their free report, they get scores as well.

2)     Consumers attempting to purchase a home or refinance a loan are affected sometimes negatively by the credit reports purchased by their creditors from the three major bureaus, Experian, CSC/Equifax and TransUnion.  The bureaus sell a different type of report to them than those available to the general public.  Therefore, a consumer can be blindsided by a report that is quite different from the one they can get for free or purchase.  This legislation proposes to make the bureaus have one consistent report available to both creditors and consumers.

3)     This legislation will strengthen current prohibitions against deceptive marketing of free or low-cost credit reports and credit scores.

4)     At this time, consumers are barred from suing to enforce their rights regarding the use and disclosure of their credit information.  This legislation proposes to fix an error in the current law so consumers have that right once again.

The furor over the Federal Trade Commission’s recent disclosure that up to 5% of credit reports contain errors serious enough to negatively affect their ability to borrow at the best interest rates is behind this legislation.  To read more about this story, click here.


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