Washington, D.C., May 24, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, joined Ranking Member Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in introducing 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 payment data to credit reporting agencies, allowing consumers with an established track record of paying their bills on time the additional opportunity to develop a positive credit history.
“Hardworking Alabamians and Americans who have demonstrated financial responsibility deserve a pathway to establish and build their credit,” said Senator Britt. “This bill takes into consideration the varying circumstances and experiences of individuals who hope to achieve their American Dream. Credit reporting is a crucial component in our nation’s economy to establish financial stability for the individual and the lender – this legislation simply incorporates a complete history of on-time payments, like rent and utilities, to reflect an accurate credit score.”
“If you pay your bills on time, your credit score should reflect it,” stated 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.”
Joining Senator Britt and Ranking Member Scott in cosponsoring the bill are Senators Joe Manchin (D- W.Va.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.). U.S. Congressman French Hill (R-Ark.-02) introduced the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives last week, 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).
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.