July 16 2010, 8:12 AM
You've probably seen the television commercials or online ads telling you how to get a free credit report. But if you want to obtain the one thing landlords, lenders, employers, and others look at---your credit, or FICO, score---you have to shell out some cash. That will change if President Barack Obama signs the historic, and somewhat controversial, financial overhaul that's on its way to his desk. The financial reform package headed to Obama was passed 60-39 in the Senate with the support of Colorado's two U.S. senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, both Democrats, reports the Denver Business Journal. Udall has included a provision in the legislation that would give Americans "free access to their credit score if their score negatively affects them in a financial transaction or a hiring decision," according to a news statement. The change could help many prospective tenants receive critical information about why they are denied housing, particularly in tight markets like New York City, notes The Wall Street Journal. The service is sure to get some mileage: Americans' average credit card debt is inching up again at a time when average credit scores are falling, writes the Collections & Credit Risk blog.