WASHINGTON (1/13/11)--The Federal Reserve Board has unveiled an online consumer handbook to help borrowers better understand new notices they may receive from lenders when credit reports or credit scores affect a credit decision. The new publication is called “What You Need to Know: New Rules about Credit Decisions and Notices.” It describes the types of notices a potential borrower might receive, as well as provides illustrations of what those notices might look like. It also gives advice on what a consumer should do upon receiving a notice and includes instructions on how to dispute credit report errors. The notices described in the new handbook are required by new rules issued by the Fed and the Federal Trade Commission on a practice known as “risk-based pricing,” where, based on a consumer's credit report, a lender provides credit to a borrower on terms less favorable than those provided to other consumers. The rule took effect Jan. 11. In announcing the new online consumer resource, the Fed reminded that as an alternative to providing risk-based pricing notices, creditors can choose to provide consumers who apply for credit with a free credit score and information about their score.