NEWS
01/03/2017 12:46 EST | Updated 01/04/2018 00:12 EST

Agency orders TransUnion, Equifax to pay $23M for false ads

WASHINGTON — Federal regulators have ordered credit-reporting agencies TransUnion and Equifax to pay about $23 million for falsely advertising that the credit scores they sell consumers are the same ones lenders use to make credit decisions.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Tuesday that TransUnion and Equifax must pay fines totalling $5.5 million and return about $17.6 million to wronged consumers. The agency also said the two companies lured consumers into payments of $16 or more per month for credit scores and credit-related products.

TransUnion, based in Chicago, and Atlanta-based Equifax Inc. are two of the three major credit-reporting agencies in the U.S. The credit scores they generate are used to determine whether consumers can qualify for a mortgage, a car loan, a cellphone plan and a range of other loans.