CFPB report finds 50M consumers can access free credit report

February 20, 2015

WASHINGTON (2/23/15)--More than 50 million consumers now have free and regular access to credit scores online or through credit card statements, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported last week.

The bureau also released a study that says despite those numbers, confusion about accessing credit scores and reports among consumers still persists.

The CFPB launched an initiative last year calling on major credit card providers to make credit scores freely available to customers. More than a dozen issuers now provide that information, and according to the CFPB, other efforts from major issuers will be forthcoming this year.

The bureau's report on credit reports and scores found, among other things:

  • Consumers who had seen their reports or scores accessed them from a variety of channels, such as a credit card statement, through their credit card company, a paid credit monitoring service, free online services, or as a result of a security breach or being denied credit;
  • ome consumers reported being confused and frustrated about how to check credit reports and scores, what information these include, and how to improve them;
  • Consumers reported that they often do not feel empowered to take action to improve their credit histories and that they rarely apply credit information in their daily lives, such as using their credit reports and scores to negotiate better credit terms; and
  • Consumers who reported feeling financially savvy and knowledgeable about their credit files, credit terms and interest rates were more likely to say they check their reports regularly.