Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) unveiled major legislation – the Stop Errors in Credit Use and Reporting Act – on Wednesday that would protect consumers from inaccurate credit reports and credit scores.
“Errors in a credit report can make the difference between whether someone can live the American dream and buy a home or even get a job,” Schatz said. “Whether you have good credit or not is determined by a dark ecosystem of companies that are not accountable to consumers. When the stakes are this high and your credit can affect whether you get a job or house, consumers deserve to be on a level playing field with banks. Our legislation will make credit reports more accurate, help people to correct any mistakes, give federal agencies more tools to enforce the law, and hold reporting agencies and data furnishers accountable for their mistakes.”
The proposed legislation follows a new report from Consumers Union revealing that as many as 40 million Americans have credit report errors, which can increase a consumer’s costs, lower their credit scores and cause other financial hardships.
The act would make it easier for consumers to correct, dispute and access their credit reports and builds on a proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“In today’s economy, it is critical that consumer’s have access to a safe and reliable way of checking their credit reports and scores,” Brown said. “This legislation ensures consumers have the resources they need to correct credit report errors that could potentially impact future employment opportunities, credit applications, and other transactions that require a good credit score. Consumers would also have access to a free annual credit score and report.”
SECURE is co-sponsored by Sens. Sanders, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and endorsed by the Consumers Union, the National Consumer Law Center, the National Association of Consumer Advocates, Consumer Action and U.S. PIRG.