Establishing Free Access to Credit Scores
UPDATE: On May, 4th 2010, Senator Udall introduced the Fair Access to Credit Scores Act as an amendment to Wall Street Accountability legislation.
Today, I filed a common-sense bill to help restore some fairness for consumers - the Fair Access to Credit Scores Act. Members of both parties have joined me in cosponsoring this bill, which I will fight to pass this year. My legislation will amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require credit-rating agencies to divulge credit scores, free of charge, to consumers when they access their free annual credit report.
Credit scores can tell Colorado consumers how lenders "grade" their creditworthiness - a higher score can mean lower interest rates on mortgages, bank loans and credit cards. And yet, many Coloradans are often surprised to find it is the one number left off of their free annual credit reports. These free reports include information such as the number and credit lines of open accounts, as well as consumers' repayment, loan and employment histories, but not the score number that banks, lenders and even employers rely on so heavily. Right now, because consumers have to pay for that score through one of the credit-reporting agencies, many people don't buy and therefore don't know where their credit score stands.
I agree with Coloradans who tell me that they want to be armed with all the necessary facts - such as their credit scores - in order to make responsible and informed decisions in their financial planning. By seeing the clearest picture possible of their personal finances, consumers can actively work to improve their scores. As we work to bring accountability to Wall Street banks, whose misdeeds contributed to the economic recession, let's not forget that we need to create some additional common-sense rules of the road - rules to help Colorado families build healthy financial futures.