PUBLIC AFFAIRS PERSPECTIVE SPRING 2010

Public policy insight for your business



Experian helps respond to consumers’ credit score questions

Among the thousands of pages of the financial reform bill, the new law includes a provision intended to increase the number of free credit scores provided to consumers. For many years, consumers have been able to receive a free credit report when adverse action is taken in response to their credit applications. With passage of the new law, they also will be able to receive a free credit score.

The Dodd-Frank Act would take two existing consumer notices in federal law and require lenders to also include a consumer’s credit score. Currently, consumers get a general notice of their credit rights if they are turned down for credit or are offered credit on less favorable terms, but they do not receive disclosure of their actual credit scores. Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve passed the Risk-Based Pricing Rule, which requires lenders to disclose a credit score when a consumer is denied credit or receives credit terms that are materially less favorable than those available to a substantial proportion of consumers through that creditor. The Dodd-Frank Act codifies the Federal Reserve’s Rule and also requires disclosure of the credit score a lender uses when a consumer is denied credit.

Clearly, disclosing a credit score will lead to questions from consumers about what the number means and what they can do to improve it. For many lenders and other businesses, it will be the first time they will have such direct conversations about credit reports and credit scores with their customers.

Experian® has available a number of resources to help our clients respond effectively to those questions. Online resources including the Ask Experian column and our extensive Credit Education section provide fundamental information to help consumers better understand credit scores and credit reports.

Our Credit Score Basics booklet and more than 20 other published education documents are available in electronic formats for easy printing and distribution. The documents, PowerPoint presentations, virtual seminars and education videos are all available on a free mini-disk.

Experian’s Public Education team also can provide customized, live Internet-based training and education for our clients’ employees to help them respond more effectively to their customers’ questions about credit reports and credit scores.

To request a free mini-disk or for more information about training events, please contact Rod Griffin, Director of Pubic Education, at 1 972 390 3528, or send an email to rod.griffin@experian.com.



 

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