On Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that credit-reporting agencies Equifax and TransUnion will have to pay more than $23.3 million in fines for deceiving its customers, as reported by The New York Times. The consumer watchdog agency said the credit agencies had reportedly misled their customers about the usefulness and cost of obtaining their credit scores.
Online banner ads for credit agencies are a constant presence online, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that their seemingly too-good-to-be-true offers were just that. The watchdog agency found that the services these agencies offered (generally advertised as free or $1) could end up costing consumers more than $200 in a given year.
The New York Times noted these indiscretions for TransUnion have been occurring since July 2011, and Equifax deceptions were happening between July 2011 and March 2014. Both of which were a directed violation of the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law. Equifax will have to reimburse its customers $3.8 million and pay a $2.5 million civil fine, while TransUnion has been tacked with a $3 million civil fine and have to pay back customers a whopping $13.93 million.
Bureau director Richard Cordray said getting a credit score is an integral part of one’s financial portfolio and this is not helping matters: “Credit scores are central to a consumer’s financial life, and people deserve honest and accurate information about them.”
(Via The New York Times)