Udall personal credit information amendment up for debate

The next round of amendments up for debate in Washington today on Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform bill include Colorado Sen. Mark Udall’s ease of access credit proposal. As he explains it, financial companies have greater access to your credit history and your credit score than you do. The private companies that calculate your score provide a free report to you once a year that doesn’t include your score, the vital piece of information you need to know if you’re going to qualify to buy a home or lease a car or rent an apartment. “We should be enabling consumers to make smart, responsible financial decisions, not forcing them to pay private companies that make fortunes keeping this personal information locked in a box,” Udall wrote in release.

Excerpts from the release:

Fair is fair, and private companies having access to information about your finances that you don’t even have doesn’t pass muster. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how current law treats your credit score.

While you have access to one free credit report a year, that report doesn’t include your actual credit score — a piece of information that private companies make you pay to get while trying to trick you with hidden and exorbitant “subscription fees.”

So while the ads may say “Free Credit Report,” your score — the important part — is anything but free.

That’s not very helpful to American consumers. So that’s why I’ve introduced legislation to require that, along with the free credit report you are entitled to every 12 months, you can get a free copy of your credit score as well.

[…]

Your credit score is probably the most important number for your personal finances. It’s what helps you get a mortgage, secure a loan, or even rent an apartment. Better scores mean better terms for you — the consumer. And in a troubled economy, we should be enabling consumers to make smart, responsible decisions — not forcing them to pay private companies that make fortunes keeping this personal information locked in a box.

Other finance regulation amendments up today:

• Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison’s (R-Texas) amendment preserving some of the Federal Trade Commission’s rule-making authority.

• Sen. Mike Crapo’s (R-Idaho) amendment, a secondary amendment to Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Johnny Isakson’s (R-Ga.), requiring proper financial backing for commercial real estate loans and commercial mortgage-backed securities.

• Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-Ala.) amendment tweaking the function of the consumer protection bureau.

• Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s (D-R.I.) amendment giving states the ability to set certain interest rates to avoid usury in payday loans and other fringe-banking businesses.

• Sen. David Vitter’s (R-La.) amendment on manufacturing.

• Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) amendment reinstituting Glass-Stegall-type provisions.

• Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) amendment changing practices at the International Monetary Fund.

Hat tip Annie Lowery.

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