The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued final rules to implement the credit score disclosure requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. If a credit score is used in setting material terms of credit or in taking adverse action, the statute requires creditors to disclose credit scores and related information to consumers in notices under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The final rules amend Regulation V (Fair Credit Reporting) to revise the content requirements for risk-based pricing notices, and to add related model forms that reflect the new credit score disclosure requirements. These rules also amend certain model notices in Regulation B (Equal Credit Opportunity), which combine the adverse action notice requirements for Regulation B and the FCRA.
For employers, this means that if a consumer report that includes a credit score is used to determine eligibility for employment, the employer will be required to disclose to the subject the usage of the credit score in an adverse employment decision and to provide information about the credit score, including the score itself, up to four key adverse factors in the score, and the identity of the agency that provided the score.
For credit transactions, creditors, including banks, credit unions, credit card issuers, and utilities, that extend credit on terms that are less favorable than those offered to other consumers because of information contained in a credit report, or if other adverse action is taken, will have to provide to the subject a “risk-based pricing notice” which discloses the credit scores and related information. Such notice will include: 1) the numerical credit score used by the creditor in making the decision; 2) the range of possible scores under the model used by the creditor; 3) the key factors that adversely affected the credit score; 4) the date on which the credit score was created, and 5) the name of the entity that provided the score.
In certain cases, such as for applications for a mortgage, auto loan, or another type of credit, a lender will have to furnish to the subject a “credit score notice” that lists the credit score and how the score compares to other consumers’ scores regardless of the credit terms offered. If no credit score is available for a consumer, the lender’s notice will identify the particular credit bureau which reported this information. Additionally, if a consumer’s annual percentage rate (APR) on an existing credit account is increased based on a review of a credit report, the creditor will have to provide an “account review notice.”
The Board and the FTC have stated that it is imperative to have the regulations and revised model forms in place as close as possible to July 21, 2011. This will help ensure that consumers receive consistent disclosures of credit scores and related information, and facilitate uniform compliance when Section 1100F of the Dodd-Frank Act becomes effective.