Udall Amendment Scores for Consumers
Bipartisan Amendment Would Give Consumers Free Access to Credit Score
Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Mark Udall helped win a victory for consumers when the Senate passed an amendment he introduced, which will give consumers free access to their credit score if it is used against them in a financial transaction or adverse hiring decision. The amendment was added to Wall Street accountability legislation, which the Senate is currently debating. Udall's amendment - supported by the nation's largest pro-consumer groups - will eliminate a major disadvantage facing consumers: banks, lenders, and employers know the consumer's credit score, but the consumer does not.
Under the bipartisan amendment, if a consumer is turned down for a loan or purchase, receives a higher interest rate on a loan or unfavorable terms on a credit card, or is not hired for a job due to unfavorable credit, they will automatically be given disclosure of their credit score free of charge. In the past, the law did not require consumers to be given their credit score in such situations, and deprived them of crucial financial information about themselves at a critically important time.
A credit score is one of the most important pieces of information a business or lending institution uses to judge a consumer's creditworthiness. Currently, many consumers have access to their credit reports, but not their scores. A credit report only gives a consumer's history of credit applications, purchases and payments, but not the score. By informing consumers who are negatively affected by their score, Udall's amendment will help level the playing field for consumers and give them more control over their financial well-being.
"For too long, consumers have been at a disadvantage because banks and lenders use these credit scores against them while they have no idea what their actual score is," Senator Udall said. "A person's credit score affects the terms of home loans, their ability to purchase a car, rent an apartment or get basic utilities. It's simply not fair for lenders to have access to a consumer's all-important credit score without the consumer being given free access to it. My common-sense amendment will help restore some fairness to hardworking Americans who want every opportunity to improve their financial futures."
Udall's bipartisan amendment was co-sponsored by 10 Senators, including three Republicans, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Kit Bond of Missouri, and Scott Brown of Massachusetts.