ABA, CBA: More Guidance Needed for Customer Communication about Credit Scores

In comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today, the American Bankers Association and the Consumer Bankers Association urged the CFPB to provide more guidance to banks on acceptable communications about credit scores and how they are used. The letter came in response to the CFPB’s recent request for information on consumers’ experiences with free credit scores and the experiences of companies and nonprofits that offer free credit scores to their customers and the general public.

The associations noted that based on the CFPB’s own report on the consumer credit card market issued in December, consumers have broad access to free credit scores through banks and other financial institutions. They noted, however, that certain actions by the CFPB have undermined banks’ efforts to educate their customers about credit scores, including a January 2017 consent order with TransUnion and a July 2013 bulletin on debt collection communication.

“To encourage entities to explain how credit scores are used, we recommend that the bureau provide guidance about advice banks many provide to consumers about improving their credit score without creating compliance risk,” the associations said. “The bureau could use such advice in its own educational efforts.” For more information, contact ABA’s Nessa Feddis.