Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2020 (H.R. 5332), a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ) that would increase protection of consumer data, transparency of credit reporting, and accountability of the credit reporting agencies, furnishers, and companies that develop credit scoring models.
Specifically, this bill will create a single online consumer platform that will provide unlimited consumer access to credit reports and scores, allow consumers to initiate disputes about reporting issues, and let consumers track and protect their credit data. The bill will also increase accountability of the three largest credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion by requiring preventive audits to increase credit report accuracy. Further, the legislation will establish a CFPB ombudsman to increase supervision and enforcement of all credit reporting agencies.
“This bill is an important step in making credit reports more accessible to consumers and fixing a broken system for credit reporting disputes,” said Rachel Gittleman, Financial Services Outreach Manager with the Consumer Federation of America. “Especially during the current financial crisis and its aftermath, consumers need easy-to-use tools to better understand their credit history and initiate disputes. We commend this bipartisan effort but urge Congress to go further to protect consumer credit during the COVID-19 emergency, including a moratorium on negative credit reporting.”
Congress has not passed significant credit reporting reform in 17 years. Since the start of the COVID-19 emergency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received a record-setting volume of complaints and credit reporting (along with debt collection) tops the complaint database for the most complained about product overall. Further, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that 21% consumers have verified errors in their credit reports, while 13% had errors that affected their credit scores.
“We applaud the House of Representatives for their work to increase transparency and accountability in the credit reporting system,” said Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and General Counsel with CFA. “Further, we urge the Senate to pass this important, bipartisan legislation to fix glaring issues in the credit reporting system. This modest legislation is long overdue and especially needed during the current financial crisis.”