Millions of Consumers Confused by Free Credit Scores

Millions of Consumers Confused by Free Credit Scores

February 23, 2015         Written By Sarah Hefner

More than 50 million Americans now have access to free credit scores, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But many of these consumers have no clue how to interpret them or what to do with the scores once they see them.

Last year, the CFPB urged credit card companies to provide free credit scores to their customers so they would be more inclined to review their credit reports and make positive changes in their financial habits. Companies like Discover, Barclaycard, Pentagon Federal and Citibank have followed through with that idea, giving 50 million consumers access to free credit scores on their account statements or online each month.

Featured Fair Credit Card

Top Features:

All credit types welcome to apply!

Despite the fact that many consumers now have access to their credit scores, a large portion of them are confused about what to do with them. The CFPB worked with focus groups and found people do not know how to review their credit reports and improve their scores, even if they can see their scores for free.

“Access to these scores provides an opportunity to engage consumers around their credit reports,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Once consumers see their credit scores, they can be motivated to learn more about their credit history, check their full credit report, and take action to improve their financial lives.”

So far, that does not appear to be happening.

Consumers who felt “financially savvy” were more likely to monitor their credit reports regularly. Consumers who remain confused about their credit reports and credit scores are encouraged to learn more about the reporting process and how their scores are calculated. The CFPB is also working with credit reporting agencies to make scores and reports easier to interpret for the uneducated consumer.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 23, 2015. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

Review LowCards.com Editor’s Top Cards!

2020 Top Credit Cards by Category
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Fair Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: All credit types welcome to apply!

Featured Secured Card
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Secured Card
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Intro APR Offer on Purchases, No Annual Fee For First Year

Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Bad Credit Card
First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: Reports to all three credit bureaus, perfect credit not required for approval

Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card
EDITOR RATING
Featured Good Credit Card
Petal® Visa® Credit Card

Applying for this card will securely direct you to the issuer's website.

Top Features: No fees whatsoever. No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee


sarah

About Sarah Hefner

Sarah Hefner has written for several publications as well as serving as an editor to various writers. She graduated from the School of Communications & Journalism at Auburn University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations.