The recent economic downturn has everyone finger pointing to establish blame in hopes of correcting the circumstances that created this spiraling situation. One of the most widely accepted culprits named have been the far too lenient standards for lending on real estate loans, which has led to millions of foreclosures and short sales across the country. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, dubbed the Dodd-Frank Act for abbreviations sake, was signed into law in 2010 to among many other things, begin the process of cleaning up the lending industry.
Since the enacting of the Dodd-Frank Act under a provision known as the “Risk-Based Pricing Rule”, consumers have been empowered with the ability to access their credit information without fee or penalty if declined or extended less than favorable terms. As of July 21st, 2011 consumers who were never declined for a loan or those who have received even the most favorable terms have the right to request their own credit reports as well. Essentially any consumer applying for credit under any terms has the right to see their credit reports and without a fee.
The three major credit-reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are businesses just like any other business and don’t like sharing their products for free. Each American has been given the ability to research their credit histories for free once a year, though this report will not be accompanied with an actual credit score, and that’s the catch. It is this scoring process that remains protected by each of the three bureaus, and learning that three-digit number is what will cost you. The expansion of the Fed and Federal Trade Commissions regulations for the Dodd-Frank Act are anticipated to eventually force the hand of the credit agencies to begin sharing the actual FICO credit score with each borrower rather than holding their cards so close to their chest.