The U.S. House is considering legislation to require consumers to provide information about their credit card usage, including information about what the companies they use charge for their products and services.
The proposed legislation, which has been approved by both chambers, would also require credit card issuers to allow consumers to opt out of sharing their credit-card information with third parties and require credit bureaus to use credit scores and other financial metrics to provide consumers with more accurate information.
The measure also would require that issuers provide consumers information on how to get the most from their credit cards.
While consumers are still in the process of getting to know their credit reporting companies, consumer advocates are urging them to get on board with the proposed bill.
Consumer advocacy groups are worried that the legislation would make it easier for thieves to steal their credit information and use it to file fraudulent charges against consumers.
The proposed legislation would also increase penalties for consumers who don’t comply with the bill.
“We’re trying to do the right thing for the American consumer,” said Karen Tompkins, vice president for government affairs at CreditCards.com.
“The consumer needs to have the right to know how their credit is being used, so that they can make informed decisions.”
The credit card industry is expected to lobby against the bill, saying that the new bill would lead to an increase in credit card spending.
The bill is also expected to make the issue of credit reporting more difficult for people who don the right kinds of credit.
While the bill has been supported by the credit industry, some consumer advocates say that it would be unfair to require the credit bakers to provide the consumer with all the information about credit card utilization that the credit reporting agencies collect.
“The credit reporting bill is the least transparent bill that I’ve seen in many years, and that’s not because it’s inaccurate or flawed,” said Elizabeth Tompkin, vice President of government affairs for CreditCars.com, an online marketplace for consumers looking to buy credit cards, mortgages and other products.
“It’s not even that the bill is bad.”
Consumers are also concerned that the proposal would result in the credit-rating agencies using consumer information to make their recommendations to credit card companies.
“I’m concerned that if you don’t provide consumers access to that information, that would result,” said Barbara Pritchard, an attorney with Consumer Watchdog.
“And that would give credit card processors an incentive to use the credit data to make decisions on your behalf.”
While the proposed legislation has not been introduced in the Senate, a bipartisan group of members of Congress is already working on similar legislation that has the support of credit-reporting companies.
That bill is expected in the House as soon as this week.