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What legal rights surround alternative credit scores?

Dec 03, 2015 Sean Albert

What legal rights surround alternative credit scores?

These days, a large and growing number of people across the country are becoming aware of the value that alternative credit scores can hold for them, especially if they've had difficulties in managing their traditional credit accounts. However, what many may not know in a lot of cases, simply because they've never really looked into it, is what their rights are as it relates to the use of these scores. Fortunately, a little bit of knowledge here can go a long way in terms of helping people access these scores to improve their financial standings.

When it comes to alternative scores like PRBC, the good news is that more than 9,000 companies across the country accept them, ranging anywhere from small family-run operations to major national brand-name chains. Fortunately, though, this number encompasses companies that are already prepared to accept these scores, but consumers who are facing credit-based decisions and present businesses with a PRBC score must accept them, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

What goes into it?

However, when it comes to PRBC scores, while thousands of businesses and entrepreneurs use them, consumers will typically have to seek out that information themselves. That is to say that they will usually have to ask their landlords, utility providers, cellphone service companies, and so on to report their standings when it comes to paying their bills. Once PRBC has that data, however, it could be a major boon to the person in question because it could help to significantly shore up their alternative score. Indeed, the more accounts and payment histories a would-be borrower can attach to their PRBC rating, the more their score will grow, and usually all a consumer has to do is contact the businesses handling their bills each month and ask to be added to the list.

And at that point, the companies that are making credit-based decisions will not only have access to their limited or somewhat damaged credit data, but also a wealth of other information about how well they handle their monthly obligations as well.

What's the benefit?
How each company will interpret those numbers, however, remains an open-ended question, but again, under federal law, they cannot refuse to consider it once it has been presented to them. But in general, those who can demonstrate a long history of paying all their bills on time and in full, will generally be able to put themselves in a much better position to not only tap credit, but do so in a way that keeps it as affordable as possible, too.

The fact is that the more people know about their rights when it comes to accessing credit, the better off they're likely to be when it comes to actually using it on a regular basis. That, in turn, should help them further improve their standing overall, and continually put them in a better financial position going forward.