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By now, credit scores are given to you for free only in special circumstances. If lenders and banks use scores to calculate our creditworthiness, decide to give a loan or deny you.I think it is an important topic to talk about.

A government should allow consumers to see their credit scores anytime they want.

Now, you can check your free credit score only in the following situations:

1. If you are denied by lender because of a low score,
2. If the lender uses more than one different credit scores,
3. If a credit issuer raises your APR because of your bad score.

We can already get a free annual credit report.

Let's fight for more!

We deserve it.

Please support this petition at if you think credit scores should be available for free for everyone, anytime.

Here is the letter you can send to your sentors to vote for this legislation:

The U.S. Senate
One great way for you to help constituents take control of our financial futures is to co-sponsor and support the Free Access to Credit Scores Act. This nonpartisan bill will give me access to my credit score free-of-charge alongside my annual credit report, and will make sure I see the same scores lenders use to decide whether I get credit, and at what interest rate.

Right now I can get a free copy of my credit report, thanks to a law passed by Congress in 2003. But if I want my credit score, I may wind up paying fees, handing over my credit card for sketchy "trial offers," and not even get the scores that lenders use.

It's estimated consumers shelled out about $250 million in recent years to get their credit scores and reports. And a new federal report found that one out of five consumers paid for scores that were 'meaningfully' different than the scores given to lenders.

A credit score is a critical tool for me to know when I'm making decisions about my finances. Lenders and banks use it to determine if they will lend me money and at what interest rate; if I can get a credit card and what size limit; even what I'm charged for car insurance. By making a reliable score free-of-charge with my credit report, I can make the right choices to improve my score, and build a better financial future for myself and my family.

I ask you to please co-sponsor the Free Access to Credit Scores Act and do all you can to ensure its passage this year. A free credit score is an important tool for constituents like me to succeed during these tough economic times.



Do you think credit scores should be free?

95%46 votes
4%2 votes

| 48 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Anything on file about us should be free. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistUS, Publius2008, lightarty, NYFM

    And we shouldn't have to request it either.

    •  Your credit score is not "on file". (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There are multiple data providers, and the data from the three sources is merged and then a proprietary model is run using that data.

    •  Credit reports are free. Scores are calculated (0+ / 0-)

      from them and are not 'the data on file'. As for having to request the reports, it actually makes sense. Would you want your private information to be mailed to you on regular basis without warning? What if you accidentally discard it? I wouldn't.

  •  And we shouldn't have to pay someone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Publius2008, ActivistUS

    to protect our identity.  That is the job of those that keep information about us.

  •  I believe they are free in some states (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and that the CFPB is thinking about mandating it nationally.

    This does not assure your credit report or file and hence score is accurate, however.  It probably isn't.

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:03:36 PM PST

  •  There is no such thing as "your credit score" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistUS, doc2, FG, MKinTN

    Rather, you have dozens, if not hundreds, of credit scores, each calculated from your raw credit report data (which itself varies from credit bureau to credit bureau).  

    Credit score algorithms are proprietary systems, sold to lenders by a variety of providers.  And even within the same system (let's say FICO, which is considered the gold standard of credit scores) there are a variety of different scores.  Your mortgage score is different from your auto loan score and your credit card score.

    Each lender can disclose the credit score that they actually used in making a decision.  And each credit bureau could randomly pick an algorithm to generate a credit score to release alongside the report.  But that credit score won't be the same one that the next lender uses.

    That's one reason why the companies that offer "your credit score" for a fee are basically scams.  But I'm not sure that free credit scores are any less misleading.  

  •  only if the names of the persons who determined (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the score are also on the public record

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:12:10 PM PST

  •  ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    second gen

    As you can read above, consumers spent "about $250 million in recent years" for their credit scores. Funny thing is, you can pay for a score that your lender does not use at all (many lenders use different credit scoring formulas as far as I know).

  •  Your "credit score" is a product (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistUS, doc2

    of the rating companies, according to their proprietary algorithm.  They charge for this.  They charge lenders when they ask for your score related to a credit application you made, and they will charge you if you ask to see it "just because".  Its what they do.

    BUT.. your Credit Record is something you can request for free from all three major agencies, and often time through other entities like your Bank or Credit Union.

    This allows you to monitor it for any false information.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:13:39 PM PST

  •  Why shouldn't there be a modest fee (0+ / 0-)

    ($14.95 or $9.95) every time one wants to see a credit score? These are private companies' databases that must be accessed, and there is no reason a consumer shouldn't be willing to pay a bit for these numbers. Remember, it is not just your data that is accessed, it is a proprietary model that is run on the data.

  •  I use I'm not sure how accurate it (0+ / 0-)

    is, but I can get a look at my credit score anytime, for free.

  •  Re: CreditKarma (0+ / 0-)

    Does anybody GET their business model?

    They are advertising all over the place - how DO they make their money?
    I'm kinda scared to even try

    •  If they are like the rest (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The lure with the free service then attempt to upsell you to a premium service.

    •  From their site: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      When you access the free credit score, Credit Karma will show personalized offers to you based on your credit profile . These offers are from advertisers who share our vision of consumer empowerment. If you wish to take advantage of Karma Offers, it is up to you. Credit Karma will never share your information without your consent.

      Credit Karma messages are one way broadcasts from our partner companies. Our advertising partners provide personalized offers and Credit Karma matches them with appropriate people, never disclosing the user information unless the consumer responds to the offer. This protects your privacy and allows you to control who receives your data.

      In other words, targeted advertising.
  • (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is the site set up by federal law to give consumers free access to their 3 credit reports (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax). This site does not try to sell monthly credit security stuff or provide links to folks who do. It's not a score, it's just the base information that goes into the scoring algorithms. Many other sites try to emulate what this site does so they can make money selling subscriptions and monitoring.

    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:48:01 PM PST

  •  There should be a single credit score... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...with a publicly known formula, which the subject should always have access to.  IMO it should not be the purview of private vendors and it should not be used for employment per Sen. Warren's legislation.

    •  It's not an objective "score" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a judgment, based on data and on assumptions about how people in your situation are likely to do in the future. It may or may not be a junk number. Having a "publicly known formula" doesn't help, because the formula would incorporate a lot of judgment calls that you still wouldn't understand.

      To me what is way more important is limiting how credit scores can be used -- at the top of the list: not allowing employers to pull them to take into account in hiring, with the possible exception of jobs where you have access to the corporate checking account.

      •  I'm trying to eliminate the judgement. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'm thinking that everyone start with a default score, say 500.  Everytime you make a payment on time it goes up x points; if late it goes down y points.  X and Y could vary based on how late or how much money is involved, but should still be consistent.  I'm afraid that judgement really means leaning on stereotypes which I don't think is fair.

        •  vadem - people who loan money are interested (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep, ActivistUS

          in credit scores that are predictive, not ones that are "fair".  What the bank lending you the money to buy a car wants to know is if you are going to make all the payments on time. Predicting consumer behavior isn't a stair step question, it's a dynamic one. The customers of the credit agency aren't you or me, it's people extending credit. If they have confidence in the model used by the credit agency it makes their decision process easier.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 10:25:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get that it's predictive... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...but what do you have to go on besides the past being prologue?  Isn't the best way to predict if I'm going to pay my record of paying in the past, or my current ability to pay based on employment?  There are various things that could go into the formula, but they should be objective and consistent.  What you are describing may be what is, but I am trying to change the model to what it should be, and yes that means one that more serves the actual consumers (you and me) over the businesses.  This should be a government function with a transparent model where creditors are told this is the number you use, take it or leave it.

            •  vadem - why? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nextstep, ActivistUS

              Why should credit reporting be a government function? More importantly if I have a model that is more predictive than yours, or the government's, why shouldn't I be able to start, or retain, a business focused on serving creditors as my customers?

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 07:25:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because it's confusing and leads to favortism. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I don't want some private entity in business to make a profit deciding whether I am creditworthy.  I don't want my fate in the hands of a creditor that decided to go with this number over that number in a way that benefits them rather than me.  For me it is a fundamental principle that the consumers of the services be given the greatest benefit of the doubt.  The government can create a standard and be accountable to the people rather than the creditors.

                •  I don't think it would be constitutional (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  to prevent a private company from being in the credit reporting business. I think those businesses can be regulated but how they determine their credit scores isn't something the government can regulate.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 09:05:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)

                    There are other functions exclusively the realm of government: law enforcement, military action, coining and printing money.  I would also argue that regulating scores falls squarely into the government's explicit constitutional authority to determine standards of weights and measures.

                    •  I doubt you would find many constitutional (0+ / 0-)

                      scholars, or even knowledgeable lawyers, who would agree with you.  The government could be in the credit scoring business, but it would be difficult to make a legal case that a private business couldn't compete.

                      The good thing about having private companies in the credit score business is that there are several of them, and they compete. And they compete on the accuracy of their predictions which requires them to constantly challenge their models. What would keep government on its toes, or even require that it be accurate?

                      "let's talk about that"

                      by VClib on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 05:50:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Amazingly wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                        How do you manage to be so laughably wrong in just one posting?

                        I doubt you would find many constitutional scholars, or even knowledgeable lawyers, who would agree with you.
                        Bwaaahaha! According to the great constitutional mind vclib. Oh - that's rich.
                        The good thing about having private companies in the credit score business is that there are several of them, and they compete. And they compete on the accuracy of their predictions
                        Oh man, you've got to come back to planet Earth. That's not any where near the real world. You're a great one for a laugh.
                        •  Capt C - find one (0+ / 0-)

                          Find one law school journal article, or even a non-peer reviewed article, that makes the case that the federal government has a constitutional basis for forbidding credit scoring by a private business serving other private customers, such as lenders. Clearly credit scoring can be regulated, but how could it be outlawed between private parties? On what basis? Find a recognized expert who agrees with you.

                          "let's talk about that"

                          by VClib on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 08:31:17 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You find it (0+ / 0-)

                            You're the one that made the claims based on what? The great constitutional legal mind of vclib?

                            You've got nothing bet a keyboard and a willingness to make any wild claim you want.

                            Come back when you've got something of value to offer.

                            No wait - keep on typing. It's amusing to watch. Like a dog chasing it's tail.

                •  The greatest benefit to the public would be from (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ActivistUS, Capt Crunch

                  the most accurate credit score in predicting loan performance.  

                  This results in those with low risk paying lower interest and ready credit - this helps stimulate the economy and jobs.  For those with high credit risk, more would be denied credit they could not afford to pay back (which hurts many people).  

                  In a government run credit score, politics would dictate some other objective.

                  The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                  by nextstep on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:55:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

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