CFPB Urges Card Companies to Provide Free Credit Scores

March 4, 2014, Written By Sarah Hefner

The Consumer Federal Protection Bureau is urging credit card issuers to provide free credit scores for their customers. Doing so would allow consumers across the country to better track the health of their credit.

Some issuers, such as Discover, Barclaycard and First Bankcard, already provide free credit scores. But the majority of card issuers do not give this to their cardholders.

“Consumers often learn the importance of their credit standing when it is too late: after a credit application is denied or identity theft has occurred,” said Richard Cordray, the CFPB’s director, in a letter to issuers.

At this time, credit card companies are only required to provide credit scores if they deny a customer’s application. This helps the consumer avoid applying for other credit cards with similar requirements, which would turn into unnecessary applications.

FICO has been working with lenders throughout the nation to provide free scores to their customers. The company estimates that by the end of 2014, 25 million people will have access to free scores through their credit accounts.

“Making this information available through existing channels, such as including credit scores with other online account information and on monthly statements, is likely to yield positive returns that are worth the effort,” said Cordray.

Consumers can catch problems with their credit soon after they occur and immediately take action to reverse the problem.

If you don’t have your credit score on your credit card statements yet, be patient. The CFPB is fighting to make that happen for you.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 4, 2014. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.

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.
View all posts by Sarah Hefner