Think you know your credit score? Think again.
The number you see — whether you paid for your score or not — is probably not what a lender gets.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced an enforcement action Tuesday against credit bureaus Equifax and TransUnion, and their subsidiaries. The CFPB said the companies deceived consumers about the value of the scores sold.
"In their advertising, TransUnion and Equifax falsely represented that the credit scores they marketed and provided to consumers were the same scores lenders typically use to make credit decisions," according to the announcement. "In fact, the scores sold by TransUnion and Equifax were not typically used by lenders to make those decisions."
As part of the action, the companies will pay more than $17.6 million in restitution to customers, and another $5.5 million in penalties to the CFPB. The bureaus must also "clearly inform consumers about the nature of the scores they are selling," according to the release from the CFPB.
Officials at Equifax did not respond to requests for comment. In an emailed statement, a spokesman for TransUnion said the company believes its marketing has been clear, but is committed to improving its customer experience.