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house Bill H.R. 5332

Should Credit Reporting Bureaus Create a Single Online Portal for Consumers to Access Their Credit Reports & Scores?

Argument in favor

Given credit reports’ importance in many aspects of consumers’ financial lives, it’s essential that they reflect accurate information and be easy to access. Requiring the three major credit reporting bureaus to work together to create a single online portal for consumers to access and correct errors in their credit reports and scores would give consumers more visibility in, and control over, their credit scores.

jimK's Opinion
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06/28/2020
These services are provided already by organizations contracted by banks to support their wealthier clients. It is kind of a no brainer to just expand the current, mostly automated services, to be available for the general public. Many offer side by side comparisons of credit scores and the factors that increased scores and those that decreased credit scores. If a creditor has dinged your record with one reporting agency and not the others, look up the details and file requests with the credit agency to correct errant records. The costs should be minimal since these effective credit agency aggregating reports and summarily services already exist. The ability of people to see their credit scores and the factors which influenced the scores should help everyone catch reporting errors and to be a little more financially responsible.
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Leslie's Opinion
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06/28/2020
One stop shop Dashboard with all details available to contact any incidents listed!
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AaronEdward's Opinion
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06/28/2020
I am tired of competing with this f’d up system! Give me free access to the score that am being graded on.
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Argument opposed

In eliminating negative, but useful, information on credit score reports, this legislation would make such scores less useful to financial institutions and others that seek to use consumers’ credit scores to evaluate their creditworthiness and suitability as renters or borrowers. Additionally, this legislation gives the already too powerful Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) even more authority.

frostyone's Opinion
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06/28/2020
It’s called Credit Karma. Its a website. It’s free. You socialists should love it
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Brandon's Opinion
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06/28/2020
Due to security concerns and the amount of information consolidated of every tax paying American into one of the “juiciest” targets a cyber actor could imagine, I believe keeping credit information in separate privatized data centers the right move at this point in time. If credit were to be consolidated it should be at the discretion of each individual American opting into aggregating their credit information into a single government mandated database. If one chooses to view all of their credit information into a single format there are plenty credit monitoring businesses that help with that and usually offer additional identity theft tools and insurance to keep them safe and insured. If the government were to step in and impose legislation as proposed here, it should be by standardizing, mandating, ensuring, and verifying credit agencies are adhering to the latest and most secure practices in cyber security available both at physical data centers and digital encryption whilst respecting privacy sharing standards.
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Caren's Opinion
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06/28/2020
No, we don’t need anything more that works against the consumer. It already seems these credit bureaus already work against and penalize consumers as it is. With those who said yes, I have to wonder if they read the information stated especially in the yes and no section.
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What is House Bill H.R. 5332?

This bill — the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019 — would direct the three major credit reporting bureaus to work together to create a single online portal for consumers to access their credit reports and scores.

The portal would be required to:

  • Provide free and unlimited access to a customer’s credit reports and scores;
  • Allow customers to initiate and resolve disputes with credit bureaus; and
  • Give customers access to see to whom credit bureaus have sold their data in the past two years.

Additionally, this bill would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the most secure and accurate marker to track a consumer’s credit, whether with a Social Security Number or another federal identifier.

Impact

Consumers; credit reporting bureaus; consumer management of their credit reports and scores; and the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5332

$15.00 Million
The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $15 million over the 2020-2025 period and $25 million over the 2020-2030 period.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) introduced this legislation to direct the three credit reporting bureaus to work together to create a single online portal providing free, unlimited access to credit reports and scores as well as the ability to easily initiate and resolve disputes with credit bureaus. In remarks at this bill’s House FInancial Services Committee markup, Rep. Gottheimer said:

“There are three companies in the United States that literally hold the keys to deciding Americans’ credit fates, on whether you should get access to credit -- what you pay for a car, whether you can get a mortgage for a house, the rates on a credit card, and how much you can receive for a small business loan. Each of these credit bureaus come up with their own magic number: your credit score. They have their own secret formula, and it’s up to you to track it, beg them to fix inaccuracies when they arise, and deal with data breaches when they occur, far too often. My bipartisan legislation asks the private sector — not the government — to help fix this, because, as you all know, I believe that the private sector is the best solver of problems like these. My bipartisan bill sets up a one-stop shop, online portal to check your credit report, for free, at any time. It allows victims to shut off the ability of credit hucksters from using your information to apply for credit under your name… By creating this one-stop portal, all three credit bureaus will now have to work together, to help protect you and make your lives easier, not the other way around. My bipartisan legislation will help fix this, and help Americans protect what they have spent a lifetime building — their credit.”

New Jersey Citizen Action supports this legislation. Its Executive Director, Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, says:

“Credit reports and scores play a critical role in the life of any consumer. But under-regulated Consumer Reporting Agencies too often report inaccurate credit scores that can cost anyone thousands of dollars in higher-priced credit, or result in the denial of a job, insurance coverage or an apartment rental. The Accurate Access to Credit Information Act will bring badly needed transparency and accountability to the credit industry.”

House Financial Services Committee Republicans opposed this legislation in committee. In their minority views, they express the belief that this bill is “overly prescriptive,” with “the potential to jeopardize a consumer’s personal information” due to its reliance on Social Security numbers (SSNs) and lack of strong cybersecurity protections. Additionally, House Financial Services Committee Republicans expressed concerns over this bill’s expansion of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) “unchecked power.” Ultimately, Financial Services Committee Republicans concluded:

“H.R. 5332 is another attempt by Committee Democrats to expand the power of an unaccountable unconstitutional agency. Moreover, the bill jeopardizes consumers’ personal information by expanding reliance on SSNs. Finally, the bill does nothing to address the long- standing cybersecurity concerns with credit reporting.”

The American Bankers Association (ABA) opposes this legislation. In a June 23, 2020 letter, the ABA argued that this legislation would “make credit reports less predictive and useful by promoting the elimination of negative but accurate information that will weaken the underwriting process and thus increase borrowers’ costs and reduce people’s ability to get loans.” Noting that the Fair Credit Reporting Act already gives consumers strong dispute rights and a framework for promptly resolving credit reporting disputes, the ABA further argued:

“H.R. 5332 will make it even easier than it is today for individuals to flood consumer reporting agencies and furnishers of information with false claims of inaccuracies that must be resolved in a timely fashion or deleted. The resulting degradation of the reports will reduce the ability of lenders to evaluate an applicant’s creditworthiness and ability to repay, which in turn will increase what consumers pay for credit and make it harder for many consumers, especially the underserved, to get credit.”

This legislation passed the House Financial Services Committee by a 31-24 vote and has the support of one cosponsor, Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) (who did not sign House Financial Services Committee Republicans’ minority views in this bill’s committee report).

A range of customer advocacy and financial services reform organizations support this legislation. They include the National Association of Realtors, Americans for Financial Reform, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Reports, National Association of Consumer Advocates, and U.S. Public Interest Research Groups (USPIRG).


Of NoteThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has previously found that one in five consumers has verified errors in their credit reports. Additionally, one in 20 customers has serious enough errors in their reports to cause them to be denied credit or need to pay more to access credit. This tallies up to 42 million Americans with errors in their credit reports and 10 million Americans with credit report errors that can have life-altering consequences.

When customers find errors in their credit reports, it can take an average of three to six months to resolve credit report errors. Additionally, credit reporting agencies have been criticized for performing lackluster investigations in these cases and providing little additional documentation to parties seeking a consumer’s credit score.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / alexsl)

AKA

Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2020

Official Title

To amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to ensure that consumer reporting agencies are providing fair and accurate information reporting in consumer reports, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed June 29th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 234 Yea / 179 Nay
    IntroducedDecember 6th, 2019

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    These services are provided already by organizations contracted by banks to support their wealthier clients. It is kind of a no brainer to just expand the current, mostly automated services, to be available for the general public. Many offer side by side comparisons of credit scores and the factors that increased scores and those that decreased credit scores. If a creditor has dinged your record with one reporting agency and not the others, look up the details and file requests with the credit agency to correct errant records. The costs should be minimal since these effective credit agency aggregating reports and summarily services already exist. The ability of people to see their credit scores and the factors which influenced the scores should help everyone catch reporting errors and to be a little more financially responsible.
    Like (104)
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    It’s called Credit Karma. Its a website. It’s free. You socialists should love it
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    One stop shop Dashboard with all details available to contact any incidents listed!
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    I am tired of competing with this f’d up system! Give me free access to the score that am being graded on.
    Like (43)
    Follow
    Share
    Due to security concerns and the amount of information consolidated of every tax paying American into one of the “juiciest” targets a cyber actor could imagine, I believe keeping credit information in separate privatized data centers the right move at this point in time. If credit were to be consolidated it should be at the discretion of each individual American opting into aggregating their credit information into a single government mandated database. If one chooses to view all of their credit information into a single format there are plenty credit monitoring businesses that help with that and usually offer additional identity theft tools and insurance to keep them safe and insured. If the government were to step in and impose legislation as proposed here, it should be by standardizing, mandating, ensuring, and verifying credit agencies are adhering to the latest and most secure practices in cyber security available both at physical data centers and digital encryption whilst respecting privacy sharing standards.
    Like (23)
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    Yes, people should always have access & it should be free! It’s our credit.
    Like (23)
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    Since credit scores determine the average consumer’s access to credit, the average consumer’s access to those credit scores should be easier and more transparent.
    Like (22)
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    YES! When I went about to purchase a home about 13 years ago it took me weeks to get my reports corrected; endless phone calls, some rude people, snail mail, and waiting and waiting!. It should not be hard and we should not have to pay to see our own information, particularly when so may decisions are based on the numbers!
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    100% yes. I have had my info leaked by anthem blue cross and quest. I was given free lifelock but still the easier to check your own credit .. the better.
    Like (15)
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    It’s really difficult to get your credit score unless you have a credit card that has that privilege. So yes. A great idea.
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    As it currently exists, the system of navigating one’s own credit history is convoluted at best.
    Like (13)
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    No, we don’t need anything more that works against the consumer. It already seems these credit bureaus already work against and penalize consumers as it is. With those who said yes, I have to wonder if they read the information stated especially in the yes and no section.
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    I find it odd that the majority of people that say no to this legislation are insulting the people who said yes. There is a legitimate argument to be had here. While I think this should be established, there are some security and regulatory concerns that need to be addressed. Just because someone is for something doesn’t make them a fascist, or a socialist, or some sort of demagogue. If you disagree, make a legitimate argument based in data and facts, not opinion and judgement.
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    Who needs a credit score report when everything is going to be free? Right?
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    Credit scores should be freely available to everyone and with no penalty for checking it. They should include all the factors used to determine the score as well.
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    JunnaLayn, I’ve been bitching for YEARS about the fact that we have to pay to see our own data! They should be paying US for allowing them to sell our data!!! How did this bullshit begin, anyway? Then, when Equifax is hacked AND ALL OUR DATA IS NOW OUT THERE FOR CROOKS TO SEE, what do they do? They offer us a year of paid security. I already pay for this option myself. I don’t need their pittance of a settlement. I want a REAL monetary settlement for their allowing such a thing to happen - like thousands of dollars, maybe, for their outright negligence! You go, JunnaLayn! Keep telling the Ignorants how it REALLY IS! What a fantasy world they live in. Trent, Blue Cross breached all my info, too. Same as Equifax. An “I’m so sorry, but I’ll make it up with this pittance I’m giving you” is in no way enough! Blue Cross screwed me and my husband over for years. This was just the icing on the cake. I would NEVER get insurance from them EVER again!
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    Yes, and it should be free or a very low cost.
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    Yes. I also think you should not be able to pay money to increase your score. Pay to get credit counseling maybe but not to buy a better score.
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    Sure but on a related subject. Why should creditors be insulated from the consequences of unavoidable mass unemployment. A huge number of people that paid their bills on time have lost their income and now can't keep making payments to creditors but creditors still expect to be paid and are ruining these customers credit for missing payments. The government should mandate a deferment for 6 months of all credit card and loan payments without penalties and no adverse credit bureau reporting. Car and mortgage payments would be added to the end of the loan term and unsecured debt payments simply suspended. #creditorjustice
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    I support the house bill — ”the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019 —” which would direct the three major credit reporting bureaus to work together to create a single online portal for consumers to access their credit reports and scores. Given credit reports’ importance in many aspects of consumers’ financial lives, it’s essential that they reflect accurate information and be easy to access. Requiring the three major credit reporting bureaus to work together to create a single online portal for consumers to access and correct errors in their credit reports and scores would give consumers more visibility in, and control over, their credit scores. Sneaky Pete. 👍👍👍👍👍 6.28.20
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