With the New Financial Reform Bill being passed, will consumers be allowed to get a free copy of their credit scores? Although the bill was passed it will not take effect for a year from when it was signed. Once it is in effect consumers that experience certain events will be eligible for free credit scores. The events include:
– A credit card or loan has been offered to a consumer at a higher rate than a consumer with excellent credit or if a complete rejection of financing occurs.
– Being denied a car lease or quoted a higher payment than normal.
– When insurance increases in price due to credit problems.
– If a consumer is turned down for a job based on credit.
What was unclear in the information available about the bill was who would provide these free scores? From the articles I read it seems the financial institutions that denied or offered higher rates to the consumer would have to extend a free copy of the scores.
Already I have found sites trying to take advantage of the passing of this bill. If you Google “get free credit scores 2010 bill” you will find many sites offer free 2010 credit scores. When filling out the application for the scores they request your credit card info. Always be wary when you are asked to give your credit card info. When a site wants your credit card it means the site is not giving you a free score (there will be strings attached). This is a free TRIAL score. Once the trial ends they will automatically charge your card.
Credit Karma offers a free score anytime you want but they do not specify what score it is and there is no way to know how it compares to the Fico score. How is a consumer to depend on this score if there is no way of knowing the difference between it and the mortgage Fico score? Who created this score and what factors impact the score? Credit Karma is using free scores as bait for consumers to browse their website and eventually buy products advertised on the site. This is yet another score added to the many, already confusing, varieties of scores available to consumers. Although Credit Karma does give a lot of information, and this is a great thing, they are very secretive about the score they offer.
This is all big news but the truth is any consumer who has applied for a mortgage can go directly to the pulling service and get a free copy of both the report and scores. The reports the lender used, by law, must be supplied to the consumer by the pulling service for free. Mortgage bankers have no problem giving consumers the phone number of the pulling service but most cannot give copies to the consumer directly.