New York Times, February 27, 2014

In its new role as consumer credit watchdog, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday urged credit card companies to give customers free copies of their credit scores — crucial pieces of financial information used to evaluate qualifications for mortgages, credit cards and even certain types of insurance and rental apartments.

While the agency is not requiring the companies to provide the information, it sent a letter to top executives at the nation’s largest credit card companies and asked them to make the scores available in customers’ monthly statements or online.

A few card issuers recently began providing the scores on their own — well before the agency’s call — and others are said to be in discussions to follow suit.

The all-powerful credit scores — the most popular of which are the FICO scores created by the Fair Isaac Corporation — are based on the information in an individual’s credit reports, which are generated by the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The agencies, which maintain files on more than 200 million consumers, have long been criticized for making it difficult for consumers to fix errors in their reports.

Read the rest at