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CFPB tries to secure free credit scores for consumers


The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) serves as a consumer-friendly watchdog with its eyes on the financial industry. According to the organization’s website, “(The agency’s) mission is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.”

This is a tall order that the CFPB is seeking to fill. However, the agency has made steady progress towards this goal since it was founded. Most recently, the CFPB has reached out to credit card companies in an effort to secure free credit rating data for consumers. Specifically, the agency would like companies to give consumers information about their credit scores for free alongside their monthly billing statements.

Why is this such a crucial move for the CFPB and for consumers alike? Credit scores help to determine the interest rates at which individual consumers can secure credit. These scores also help determine whether consumers are considered financially secure and responsible enough to rent apartments to, grant loans for and access certain kinds of insurance.

If consumers are more educated about their credit scores, this information may impact their spending and lending habits. If consumers treat their credit ratings ever more responsibly, this shift could impact the entire economy for the better. Hopefully the nation’s credit card companies will respond positively to the urgings of the CFPB and hopefully credit card consumers will act on their increasingly informed financial status proactively as a result.

Source: New York Times, “ A Call to Give Consumers Their Credit Scores Free,” Tara Siegel Bernard, Feb. 27, 2014