by Brian Wolfman
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers are entitled to annual free credit reports from the three mega-credit reporting companies -- Experian, Trans Union, and Equifax. That's good because it gives consumers a chance to see their reports and try to get them corrected when they are wrong. (And they are often wrong, and sometimes terribly wrong.)
But consumers have to pay for their credit scores -- and a consumer's credit score is generally what matters to a (potential) lender when the lender is deciding whether to extent credit and, if so, on what terms. No federal law requires the big credit reporting companies to give consumers their credit scores for free.
Senator Bernie Sanders (pictured below right) wants to end that. He's introduced the Fair Access to Credit Scores Act of 2013. It would require the credit reporting companies to include credit scores with the annual reports that they are already required to provide free of charge.
Consumers Union has begun a congressional letter writing campaign in support of the legislation.