Okay Average Joes, here is an important bit of information for you that could put money back into your pocket!
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal watch dog agency that is supposed to be keeping an eye out for you (and is!), has just scored another victory for us Average Joes! Credit agencies, think Equifax, Experian and TransUnion sell you a snap shot of your credit score for those who are credit curious. And, if you are buying a house, a car, or any major purchase, it is not uncommon to buy a ‘credit snapshot’ to see where you are with your credit score; what derogatory remarks have been noted (if any), and to just check for issues that you may need to address. I know I use to check my credit score every year.
Well, according to the CFPB, the scores that were presented to the Average Joes were not the same as the one sold to those who were checking your credit. Meaning, you were sold one credit score and your loan maker was sold another credit score.
Not being aware of the same credit score as your lender, put the Average Joes at a serious disadvantage. This type of activity would have prevented you from being an accurately informed buyer and being able to negotiate or find the best deal among the lenders.
The CFPB heard our complaints (I am curious as to how they found out) went to bat for us and the credit reporting agencies have agreed to make changes to their practices. Now, those were affected may be eligible for refunds. Watch your mail. Mail outs are being sent to those who were affected.
Checking and knowing your credit is critical for the Average Joes. Especially, for those who are playing the credit card arbitrage game. I check my credit daily through CreditKarma.com and have written about the importance of doing such. CreditKarma is free, this Average Joes favorite word!
Keep an eye on your mail and if you are entitled to a refund, let us know and share your experience.
For more about this settlement, I have linked one of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s press releases.