The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, sent a letter to the credit card companies asking them to consider including free credit scores on consumers’ statements.
Lindsay Wise, reporting for McClatchy, quotes CFPB director Richard Cordray: “Consumers often learn the importance of their credit standing when it is too late: after a credit application is denied or identity theft has had time to cause extensive damage.”
This “extensive damage,” as Cordray calls it, is of the kind that can lead to bankruptcy (although bankruptcy itself is not necessarily a bad thing).
The solution might be free credit scores online and on monthly statements, as Wise writes, which would be a boon because only 1 in 5 Americans get their scores annually.
Of course, opponents of the CFPB’s “encouragement” – such as the chief counsel of the American Bankers Association – see it as micromanaging the marketplace. “[The CFPB] is picking winners and losers, and is overreaching […],” according to the chief counsel.
Whether or not the CFPB is overreaching will remain to be seen. Many of the CFPB’s efforts seem to have been criticized, primarily by representatives of Big Business, since the CFPB was created in the wake of the Great Recession.
If the CFPB’s encouragement is a success, and the credit card companies begin including this kind of information for free for consumers, it will be a good thing in helping to ward off financial trouble.