Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a study comparing credit scores sold to creditors and those sold to consumers.  The study found that approximately 1 in 5 consumers would, upon purchasing their credit score from a consumer reporting agency, receive a different credit score than the score provided to creditors for use in determining eligibility for products or services.  The study was required by section 1078 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The study also found that differences in the scores provided to consumers versus creditors could harm consumers and that most consumers would never find out that the credit score given to them may not be the score in fact used by creditors.  To address these findings, the CFPB recommended that consumers shop around for credit and carefully review their credit reports. 

The CFPB commenced supervision of consumer reporting agencies on September 30, 2012.  The differences highlighted in the study will be one of the CFPB’s focal points during supervisory examinations.