Experian pays $3M for deceptively marketing scores
The CFPB has announced action taken against Experian Holdings, Inc., Experian Information Solutions, Inc., and ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. d/b/a Experian Consumer Services (collectively, Experian) following a review of Experian's marketing practices. In a Consent Order issued on March 23, 2017, the Bureau states that Experian
- deceptively marketed credit scores to consumers by misrepresenting that those it offered and provided to consumers were the same scores lenders use to determine creditworthiness, in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010
- placed advertisements for its products on webpages that consumers accessed through AnnualCreditReport.com before they obtained their free annual file disclosures, in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as implemented by Regulation V, 12 CFR § 1022.136(g)(1).
The Consent Order requires that Experian pay a $3 million civil money penalty to the CFPB's Civil Penalty Fund, truthfully represent the usefulness of credit scores it sells, and put in place an effective compliance management system.
Similar action was announced by the Bureau on January 3, 2017, with regard to the sale of credit scores to consumers by Equifax and TransUnion, which were both also cited for other infractions.