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Monday, June 11, 2012

Another article about credit scores affecting insurance premiums

The Columbus Dispatch has published a well written article about the effect your credit score has on the cost of insuring your vehicle and home and how most consumers don't even know about how their good or bad credit history affects them.

A good point made by the article is how the use of credit scores when setting insurance premiums underscores why the accuracy of credit reports is so important. It's not like you can dodge insuring your car (which is required in many if not most states) and mortgage companies rightly require that a home be insured before financing the purchase. Thus, the protections afforded consumers by the Fair Credit Reporting Act are important because they help ensure accuracy. In fact, the FCRA requires that credit bureaus use reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the credit reports they generate.

Litigation pursuant to the FCRA is thus an important threat to keep the credit bureaus as accurate as possible. Without the threat of a lawsuit, the FCRA would be a dog without teeth - all bark with no bite. Many legislators who cater to the interests of businesses over consumers often want the litigation threat of new laws limited to non-private enforcement. Such a limitation means that a consumer can not sue due to a violation, only a government regulator type entity (i.e. the FTC or state attorneys general) can sue. And, even if willing to do so, most such entities do not have the manpower to do so. Hence the reason why private enforcement through private representation by attorneys is so important to the enforcement of the FCRA because, without it, the credit bureaus could run amok, causing havoc to the entire economy.

The article is here - http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/06/10/bad-credit-raises-cost-of-insuring-car-home.html - and includes personal stories of consumers with perfect driving histories that miss a credit card payment or two and suddenly are perceived as horrible drivers or more apt to have their homes hit by a tornado.

Craziness.

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