Community Dividend

Fed releases two new consumer credit guides

Published April 1, 2011  | April 2011 issue

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has released two online resources designed to educate the public about aspects of consumer credit. The first resource, the Consumer's Guide to Credit Reports and Credit Scores, uses a question-and-answer format to explain credit reports, credit scores, and the importance of protecting personal credit histories. The guide provides instructions and contact information for actions such as fixing errors on credit reports and opting out of unsolicited credit offers.

The second new resource, titled What You Need to Know: New Rules about Credit Decisions and Notices, explains a type of notice that creditors are now required to send borrowers. Under new rules that took effect January 1, 2011, a creditor must send a borrower a notice when, based on the borrower's credit report, the creditor provides credit to the borrower on terms that are less favorable than those provided to other consumers. A borrower who receives this "risk-based pricing" notice can then obtain a free credit report in order to check it for accuracy.

Both of the new guides are available at