Knowledge is power, the old saying goes. And in our economy, driven as greatly as it is by consumer consumption supported by credit borrowing, one of the key bits of knowledge that is touted as essential is knowing your credit score.
The problem with that, according to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is that too many borrowers report that they don't know how to go about learning what their score is. Another issue, the CFPB says, is that consumers don't know how to go about fixing data errors that might be hurting their credit scores.
Of course, as experts in Texas and elsewhere will likely confirm, merely knowing your credit score may be a double-edged sword.
If your score is high, you might be able to relax. If it's low, you might find yourself losing sleep over the fact. The knowledge doesn't much help someone facing credit issues, perhaps evidenced by overwhelming credit card bills and loans, figure out how to achieve debt relief. That's something an experienced attorney can be consulted about.
In a bid to try to elevate the general knowledge of consumers on their individual scores, CFPB director Richard Cordray recently announced that he has asked the top credit card issuers to consider providing their customers with credit card scores as part of their monthly statements. This would be done for free.
Right now, consumers are allowed to request a score report from the major credit reporting companies for free, but only once a year.
It's not clear how Cordray's request will be received. Some credit card companies have said they'll comply. But a representative for a trade group for retail banks says issuing scores may not be the best way to achieve the goal of educating consumers.
Source: Reuters, "U.S. consumer watchdog calls for credit scores on card statements," Feb. 27, 2014