Removing Barriers Blog

CUNA Writes to House Financial Services Committee Prior to Hearing on Holding Credit Bureaus Accountable
Posted February 26, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

Prior to this morning’s hearing in the House Financial Services Committee entitled, “Who’s Keeping Score? Holding Credit Bureaus Accountable and Repairing a Broken System,” CUNA wrote to the Committee Chairwoman and Ranking Member.  

Credit reporting agencies (CRAs) play a critical role in the financial lives of Americans as the credit scores and reports they generate are influential metrics for many lending decisions.

CUNA raised several concerns among their members in regards to CRAs, including:

  • Data security issues which continue to cause concern for credit union members. The Equifax data breach put more than 148 million American consumers at risk. The massive number of records possessed by CRAs and other entities highlights the need for comprehensive data security legislation as a way to ensure that data is protected from theft and misuses by criminal and other bad actors who come in possession of stolen records.
  • Efforts to bolster financial education, including easy access to free credit scores. CUNA is further urging Congress and regulatory agencies to provide credit unions with the support, including regulatory guidance as needed, intended to achieve this goal but to not go so far as to prescribe or mandate the establishment of any specific programs or services.
  • Use of “alternative data” in lending determinations which continues to grow. CUNA maintains that there should be no statutory or regulatory requirement to use “alternative data.” Instead, the decision to do so should be based entirely on the needs, resources, and risk appetites of individual financial institutions.
  • Thorough examination and updates to the regulatory framework implementing the FCRA. CUNA believes Congress should encourage the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to provide clarity in regulatory solutions.
  • FCRA does not currently impose caps on recoveries in class action law. CUNA is calling on Congress to explore the potential for modernizing the FCRA to include reasonable limitations on legal recoveries. 

On behalf of America’s credit unions and their 115 million members, CUNA supports the intent of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and its importance in ensuring consumers’ financial information is handled and used in an appropriate and responsible manner.