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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

CFPB to Publish List of Companies Offering Free Credit Scores

The CFPB has announced plans to compile and publish a list of companies that offer customers access to a free credit score, which the bureau said would help “bring customer attention to the topic of credit scores, and follow up with content to educate, inform and empower consumers on the availability of credit scores and credit reports an how consumers can use this information.”

In a Federal Register notice, the CFPB invited financial institutions to request inclusion on the list. To meet the inclusion criteria, a company must be a credit card issuer; offer “at least some, but not necessarily all” existing customers the ability to obtain a free credit score which either the company or other lenders use for account origination, portfolio management or other business purposes; offer access to a credit score on a continuous basis, as opposed to on a time-limited or promotional basis; and periodically update the credit score. The bureau said it may also consider expanding the scope of the list to include companies that are not credit card issuers in the future.

The CFPB has previously pressed card issuers to make consumers’ credit scores available for free – in letters to bank CEOs in 2014, Director Richard Cordray said that the bureau would consider doing so a “best practice” for card issuers. While the bureau said that participation in the list is not connected to any supervisory activity, ABA is concerned that this action could further pressure banks to provide free credit scores, which could add to the cost burden for community banks in particular.

Read the notice.

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