The CFPB has announced plans to produce a list of companies offering existing customers free access to their credit score. According to the CFPB, “educating and empowering consumers to take more control over their financial lives” constitutes a core part of the Bureau’s mission. Credit scores are vitally important to the Bureau in this regard and can represent consumers’ first steps toward “learning about their credit history, checking their credit report, and ultimately making decisions about credit that serve their own financial and life goals.” By offering a list of companies that provide credit scores for free, the CFPB hopes to educate and inform consumers.
The list will not be comprehensive, however, and companies must meet certain criteria for inclusion. First, only those companies that issue credit cards can request inclusion on the list. Further, credit card issuing companies must offer at least some of their existing customers the ability to obtain a free credit score on a continuous basis, rather than on a promotional or time-limited basis. The Bureau has stated that the list may expand to include those companies that are not credit card issuers or, alternatively, the Bureau may publish a separate list for non-credit card issuing companies.
The CFPB has previously urged credit card issuers to provide consumers’ credit scores free of charge. In letters to bank CEOs in 2014, CFPB Director Richard Cordray noted that the Bureau would consider doing so a “best practice” for credit card issuers.
Companies that would like to request inclusion on the list can contact the CFPB through its Federal Register Notice.