As a result of deceptive marketing practices, two of the three biggest credit reporting agencies in the U.S. agree to repay consumers more than $17.6 million.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Equifax and TransUnion advertised their credit scores programs inaccurately, overstating the potential usefulness. The two companies promised customers their credit score programs were equivalent to credit scores banks provide customers; however, according to the CFFB, banks and lenders tend to use a variety of credit scores, thus no rating is universally acceptable.
The two companies also falsely advertised subscription services as “free” or only costing $1. Instead, services cost $16 monthly, unless the customer carefully read the fine print and opted-out of the contract.
As a part of the CFFB settlement agreement with Equifax and TransUnion, the companies will change their marketing practices to include more transparency in products/services descriptions and less complex contracts that make it easier for customers to opt-out of reoccurring monthly payments.
Customers looking to pull their credit reports can visit annualcreditreport.com, the only authorized source under federal law for free annual credit reports.