Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), co-chairs of the newly formed Senate Consumer Caucus, held the caucus's first event -- a briefing titled "Credit Scores and Reports 101: What Consumers Need To Know." The briefing was focused on the information contained in consumer credit scores and reports, how that information is used, and the rights that consumers have under existing law. The briefing was also focused on what new protections are necessary to help safeguard consumer credit scores.
"I am very happy to start the Senate Consumer Caucus with an event on a topic -- credit reports and scores -- critically important to the financial health of consumers," Blumenthal said. "Consumers deserve to know the information that is collected about them and the variety of ways that information is used. Such critical information is available to insurance companies who use it to set premiums and employers who use it to make hiring decisions. Consumers deserve to have the tools and resources needed to fix and protect the financial information that is collected about them. I am proud to work with Senator Pryor on these issues, and I look forward to hosting future caucus events like this with him."
"There's a common misconception that credit scores only affect a consumer's access to credit. Unfortunately, this score can often mean the difference between whether or not a consumer can buy a home, own a car, or purchase health insurance for their family," Pryor said. "That's why I was pleased to join Senator Blumenthal to highlight this critical issue and educate consumers about ways they can improve their credit score."
In addition to Blumenthal and Pryor, three panelists spoke at the briefing: Barrett Burns, President and CEO of Connecticut-based VantageScore Solutions; Maneesha Mithal, Associate Director of the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the Federal Trade Commission; and Ira Rheingold, Executive Director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
"Improving consumer knowledge about credit scoring and providing consumers with tools to help facilitate that knowledge is a charge we take very seriously," said Burns who mentioned the Credit Score Quiz as an example -- a resource VantageScore Solutions launched in partnership with Consumer Federation of America. "I'd like to thank Senators Blumenthal and Pryor for their recognition of this issue and providing a platform for increasing consumer knowledge about credit and credit scores -- an area that is evolving rapidly due to increased competition, innovation and regulation."
Blumenthal and Pryor have championed consumers' issues for years, both as attorneys general of their states and now as U.S. Senators. Last month, they launched the Senate Consumer Caucus, which will provide Members of Congress and staff with the opportunity to hear from relevant experts, federal agencies, consumer advocates, and stakeholders from inside and outside the industry through briefings, roundtables, and other events.