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Consumers and lenders may receive different credit scores

September 25, 2012|By David Lazarus
  • Consumers and lenders may be receiving different credit scores, federal watchdogs say
Consumers and lenders may be receiving different credit scores, federal… (HowStuffWorks )

Illustrating yet again how tough it can be to get a level playing field with business interests, federal watchdogs say that one in five consumers is likely to receive a credit score different than the one given to lenders.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's study shows that while you might think you're entirely credit-worthy, banks and others are possibly being told a different story.

"This study highlights the complexities consumers face in the credit-scoring market," said Richard Cordray, the agency's director. "When consumers buy a credit score, they should be aware that a lender may be using a very different score in making a credit decision."

Consumer advocates have long charged that credit-reporting companies provide varying scores to lenders. The federal agency confirms this, saying that many consumers receive a "meaningfully different" score than their lender.

Adding insult to injury, consumers may never know about the discrepancy and could thus remain in the dark about why they may have been rejected for a loan or drew a higher interest rate.

The consumer bureau plans to start supervising about 30 of the largest credit reporting companies at the end of the month.

Not soon enough, you could say.

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