Free Credit Scores? A Bill May Make This a Reality

Free credit scores could help consumers keep a closer eye on their credit

Free annual credit scores could be coming your way. A bill was proposed in the United States Senate that would mandate all consumers be able to obtain free annual credit scores.

Currently, all consumers are entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian) each year. If you want to see your score, you’ll have to pay for that.

The proposed bill, called the Stop Errors in Credit Use and Reporting (SECURE) Act, was introduced in an effort to resolve the difficulties often faced by consumers due to credit scoring errors.

The SECURE Act sets guidelines for ensuring that consumer reports furnished by the credit bureaus are accurate. Consumer information site Consumerist reports the bill will have the following provisions:

◾ Credit reporting agencies will be required to distribute documentation sent by consumers to data furnishers and requires data furnishers to consider the documentation in their re-investigation.

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◾ Credit reporting agencies are required to collect and report information on both disputes and resolutions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is required to establish minimum procedures that a credit reporting agency must follow to ensure consumer reports are accurate.

◾ Credit reporting agencies cannot ignore new or additional information provided by a consumer that is relevant to an on-going dispute.

The act also includes injunctive relief, which would allow consumers to seek relief when they sue for a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Dome credit card issuers are already providing credit scores for free as part of the monthly credit card statement. Among them are Discover, First Bankcard and Barclay.

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