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CUNA Letter to HFSC Addresses Credit Reporting Responsibilities
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 6:40 AM

Credit Union National Association sent a letter for the record to Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry ahead of the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) hearing titled, “Who’s Keeping Score? Holding Credit Bureaus Accountable and Repairing a Broken System.”

Credit reporting agencies (CRAs) play a critical role in American’s financial lives as the credit scores and reports they generate influence metrics for many lending decisions. The trade association, which advocates on behalf of America’s 115 million credit union members, 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.

CUNA raised several concerns among their members concerning 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 to ensure that data is protected from theft and misuses by criminals 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, to achieve this goal but not to prescribe or mandate the establishment of 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 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.

Read the letter in full here.