Udall Amendment to Wall Street Accountability Bill Would Allow Consumers to Get Free Access to Credit Score
Current Law Allows Free Access to Credit Report, NOT Credit Score
Udall: Increasing Access to Credit Score Would Help Level the Playing Field for Consumers
Washington, D.C. – Today, as the U. S. Senate began debating legislation to crack down on Wall Street and protect families’ savings and seniors’ pensions, Senator Mark Udall offered an amendment that would help consumers take greater control of their finances by enabling them to get free access to their credit scores.
Current law allows consumers to get a free credit report each year – there’s even a catchy ad campaign urging people to check their reports. But the law doesn’t allow consumers to get free access to the most important information about their credit – their credit score. A credit score is the most important thing most banks and lenders consider when consumers apply for a home or car or other loan, yet consumers have to pay to get access to this vital information themselves. In fact, in some cases, consumers are led to believe they are signing up to get a free credit score, only to find out later that they signed up for a monthly monitoring service that can cost $200 a year or more – a marketing ploy that Senator Udall said can be exploitive.
“In the last two years, we’ve learned how critical it is for people to take control of their financial health by tracking their spending and controlling their credit, ” Senator Udall said. “Your credit score affects your ability to get a mortgage, a credit card – and sometimes even a job. With so much riding on your credit score, we shouldn’t put up barriers to accessing it. ”
“The way I see it, your credit score is like your medical records, ” Senator Udall continued. “Would a doctor say that your blood pressure reading is his information, not yours? My amendment would help consumers get more control over their financial health. ”
Senator Udall’s amendment is co-sponsored by Senators Richard Lugar, R-Ind. ; Scott Brown, R-Mass. ; Christopher Bond, R-Mo. ; Thad Cochran, R-Miss. ; Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. ; Charles Schumer, D-N. Y.; Carl Levin, D-Mich. ; Kay Hagan, D-N. C.; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N. H.; Tom Udall, D-N. M.; and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. It has also received the backing of the Consumer Federation of America and the Consumers Union, two of the nation’s largest consumer-advocacy groups, among others.
Senator Udall has worked since he was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives to level the playing field for consumers. Legislation he introduced to end unfair credit card practices became the basis for comprehensive credit card reform, which was signed into law and became effective beginning on February 22, 2010. More information about his work is available HERE .