Proposals in Finance Bill Could Help Atlanta Consumers Save Money and Improve Credit

If proposals in a new finance bill passed by the Senate come true, the finance industry could get a lot easier to navigate for Atlanta consumers.

We're talking free credit scores, a reduction in mortgage penalties and the creation of a new oversight agency to protect consumers. Watch out, lenders - the game might be played differently when consumers actually have a fair shot.

Here's a quick summary of some of the bill's most intriguing possibilities. But first, a disclaimer: this is all still speculation. We don't know when the bill will be finalized, or what will be left in it when it is. If you're looking to lower debt and improve your finances, you can't afford to wait for the government to hold your hand - not when there are effective ways to take matters into your own hands, like bankruptcy.

By now, you probably know that you get three free credit reports - one from each of the credit reporting companies - each year on But you usually have to cough up some cash to see a credit score - the number calculated from those credit reports and what lenders actually use to determine your level of risk. But legislators don't think you should have to pay to find out if there's a problem with your credit. Under the current bill, consumers would receive a free credit score if that score is being used against them - for instance, if you're told you've been denied access to the best mortgage rates because of it.

Speaking of mortgage rates, that brings up another of the bill's proposals. Lenders can currently penalize homeowners who pay off their mortgage too early, thus "robbing" the lender of all those years of interest. That would be like a credit card company charging you for paying off your balance in full! If legislators have it their way, though, this practice would be eliminated. If you're ambitious enough to pay off your home fair-and-square, you should be rewarded, not punished.

And because the finance industry can never quite be trusted, the bill could set up a consumer protection agency to make sure the rules get followed - and we don't slip into another nasty recession.

Of course, even when it's all said and done, new legislation is a treatment, not a cure. If you're battling bad credit and too much debt, you need a fresh financial start. Bankruptcy can be the most effective way to find one. Want to find out if bankruptcy can lower or eliminate your debt, freeing up more of your income each month - a first step to repairing your credit? Our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys can answer any questions and identify a bankruptcy plan right for you at no charge when you sign up for a free personal debt analysis.

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