Scott, Manchin Reintroduce Bill to Increase Credit Access and Financial Inclusion
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today reintroduced the Credit Access and Inclusion Act to responsibly expand credit access for millions of Americans with limited or non-existent credit histories. This bipartisan legislation would permit property owners and utility and telecom providers to report payments data to credit reporting agencies, allowing consumers with an established track record of paying their bills on time the opportunity to develop a positive credit history.
Joining Ranking Member Scott and Senator Manchin in cosponsoring the bill are Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Katie Britt (R-Ala.). U.S. Congressman French Hill (R-Ark.-02) introduced the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives today, along with Reps. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.-06), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.-01), Michelle Steel (R-Calif.-45), Young Kim (R-Calif.-40), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.-27), and Byron Donalds (R-Fla.-19).
“If you pay your bills on time, your credit score should reflect it,” said Ranking Member Scott. “Americans shouldn’t be held back from purchasing a home, financing their education, or pursuing their dreams simply because their on-time payments don’t happen to count towards their credit scores. This bill will remove needless barriers and help hardworking Americans gain access to credit.”
“Good credit is a gatekeeper to the American dream. However, our current system denies many individuals who pay their bills on time the opportunity to establish a credit score,” said Senator Manchin. “This bipartisan legislation would remove regulatory barriers and allow additional data, such as utility and rental payments, to be used to build credit. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense bill and help the millions of people in West Virginia and across the country who are ‘credit invisible.’”
Approximately 26 million Americans are “credit invisible,” meaning they lack credit records or history of traditional payments, such as student loans, car loans, or mortgage payments. Having no credit or thin credit makes economic mobility difficult and hampers an individual’s ability to purchase a home, take out student loans, buy a car, or even get a job.
The Credit Access and Inclusion Act allows credit bureaus to collect payments data for services not traditionally factored into credit reporting, such as rent, internet, phone, electricity, and utility payments. Factoring these payments into credit reporting would expand credit histories and generate credit scores for consumers who were previously “unscoreable.”
For more information, read the bill text here.
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