Consumer Comeback Blog

Free Credit Report Spurs Move for Free Credit Score

One of the biggest changes to the credit landscape over the past few years has been the availability of the free credit report. Now, we’re not talking about the sort of thing available from that unlucky band of street performers who show up in the commercials all the time. No, we’re talking about the free credit report you get from the three major credit reporting agencies.

That free credit report, which you can get once a year from the Annual Credit Report website, comes as a result of legislation. Specifically, congress passed a law several years back requiring the credit reporting agencies to offer you a free copy of your credit report each year.

Now, however, comes some news from the “give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile” category. It seems that several lawmakers have decided that consumers ought to also have access to their credit score without having to pay a fee for the information.

This proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to add a provision to the current financial reform legislation under consideration that would give you a similar kind of free access to your credit score as you currently have to your credit report. At this point, the move comes only in the form of a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn.

The letter, signed by 8 representatives, requires that consumers would be given free access to their credit score under certain conditions. These conditions include being denied for a loan or for insurance, or being charged higher loan interest rates or being charged higher insurance premiums due to a lower credit score.

The measure does have some support, although it is yet to be seen how widespread that support will be. Opponents of the measure argue that giving out the credit score for free effectively takes money away from the credit reporting agencies, and would be a serious financial blow to those companies.

Photo via Walt Hubis