Congressman Cohen Introduces Bill to Give Consumers Free Credit Scores
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today introduced the Fair Access to Credit Scores Act of 2019, which would provide a free and accurate credit score with the free annual credit reports that are already available to consumers through the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
“A good credit score means better interest rates on mortgages, bank loans and credit cards, smaller deposits for rent or utilities and even lower insurance premiums,” said Congressman Cohen. “Unfortunately, many Americans may find monitoring their credit scores to be difficult and expensive because gaining access to reliable and affordable information about their credit scores is not nearly as easy as it should be.”
The Fair Access to Credit Scores Act would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require the inclusion of credit scores with the free annual credit reports available to consumers each year.
The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed in 2010 provides an automatic free copy of their credit score to consumers who have been denied credit, charged a higher interest rate on a loan or received unfavorable terms on a credit card. This bill would expand upon that provision to provide all consumers with a free annual credit score along with their free annual credit report.
This measure would also ensure that the free annual credit score received by consumers is the reliable score used by creditors, rather than an “informational score” of unknown reliability. It would give consumers access to all scores generated in the previous year and stored in their credit files – information that lenders have accessed about the consumer’s individual creditworthiness – instead of consumers seeing only those scores that resulted in “adverse actions,” as provided by current law.
The legislation would strengthen prohibitions against deceptive marketing of free or low-cost credit reports and credit scores. It would also standardize credit report disclosure formats for easy comparison when consumers order their free annual credit reports.