The passing of the “Wall Street Reform Act and Consumer Protection Act”, HR 4173, on July 21, 2010, brought consumers many benefits in terms of financial protection and oversite. Of the top changes that the financial reform brought to the table, the one we will talk about in this article is the ability for consumers to get their credit score for free. In a nutshell, this bill established an independent consumer bureau within the Federal Reserve which protects borrowers against abuses in mortgage, credit card and other types of lending.
Can You Get Your Score For Free?
Having said all of that, what in the world does HR 4173 have to do with getting a free credit score? Well, before the passage of this bill, consumers were only able to see their credit score if they paid for it or if they signed up for a credit monitoring service. Now, consumers are able to get a free credit score:
- If you were denied a job, insurance or loan due to your credit. Or, if you feel that you are getting a higher interest rate or insurance rate due to bad credit, but you will need to find a way to document this.
- If you have suffered some kind of adverse action due to your credit. Include a copy of the letter you received about being denied credit.
How to Get Your Free Credit Score
If you have been denied credit or suffered some kind of adverse action due to your credit, you will need to do the following:
- Write to the three credit bureaus documenting your reason for requesting a free credit score. Here are the contact addresses for the credit bureaus.
- Send your letter certified, return receipt requested.
What if I Don’t Qualify for a Free Score?
As you can tell, the financial reform bill was designed to help those who may have been wronged by a lending institution or feel they may have been denied a loan erroneously. If you suffered one of the above actions, you are entitled to see your credit score for free so that you know what your score is and then you can work on making it better. If you do not qualify for a free score, you will have to either pay for when you request a copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. You can also check out our pages on recommended ways to get credit reports or credit monitoring services.
Either way, it is always a good idea to pull your credit report at least once a year and make sure to remove any negative information. Doing this will make sure you have an adequate credit score for the next time you apply for that credit card or auto loan.