Tuesday | July 17, 2018

Scott Applauds House for Passing Legislation to Increase Access to Credit and Opportunity

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) released the following statement upon House passage of the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act, which includes S. 3040, the Senator’s bipartisan Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2018.

“I applaud Chairman Hensarling, the House Financial Services Committee, and the whole House for putting people ahead of politics by passing this key piece of legislation. In particular, the Credit Access and Inclusion Act will increase access to credit for nearly 29 million Americans who are creditworthy but ‘credit invisible.’ It’s almost impossible to climb the economic ladder without a credit history and this bill will eliminate that barrier for people who work hard and do the right thing.

I urge the Senate to take up consideration of the Jobs and Investor Confidence Act in a timely manner, and look forward to it being sent to the President’s desk.”

On June 26, 2018, Senator Scott released this statement in conjunction with the introduction of the Credit Access and Inclusion Act.

BACKGROUND:

Over 29 million Americans are “credit invisible,” meaning they do not have a history of traditional payments (student loans, mortgages, car loans) and therefore can’t be “scored” with traditional credit scoring models. 

Senator Scott’s Credit Access and Inclusion Act is a key piece of bipartisan legislation that allows landlords, telecom companies, and utility providers to report on-time payment data to credit bureaus, which in turn allows for the data to be used when a consumer’s credit score is calculated.

Brookings Institution study has found that the consideration of this positive payment data in credit scoring will lead to a 21 percent increase to prime credit for those earning less than $20,000 a year and a 15 percent increase for those making between $20,000 and $30,000 a year.

The bill has wide support from groups such as: National Consumer Reporting Association, Prosperity Now, National Association of Realtors, Credit Builders Alliance, Experian, Transunion, PERC, the Center for Financial Services, PolicyLink, and NALCAB.

 Full text of S. 3040 can be found here.

 Previously, Senator Scott secured the Credit Score Competition Act as well as the Making Online Banking Initiation Legal and Easy (MOBILE) Act in S. 2155 as part of his Opportunity Agenda. 

The bipartisan Credit Score Competition Act, directs the Federal Housing Finance Agency to create a process by which new credit scoring models can be validated and approved for use by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs) when they purchase mortgages. Currently, the GSEs are mandated to consider a decades-old credit scoring model that does not take into account consumer data on rent, utility, and cell phone bill payments. The exclusion of these data disproportionately hurts minorities and first-time homebuyers.  

The MOBILE Act addresses the fact that current laws in regard to identity verification have not kept up with the changing technologies of the Internet era. This amendment would allow banks and credit unions to use a scan or picture of a driver's license to verify a customer's identification when they open an account online. Approximately 16 million adults live in households without a checking or savings account and an additional 51 million adults live in households that have a bank account but rely on nonbank lenders like payday lenders and pawnbrokers with sky-high interest rates. However, about 90 percent of underbanked adults own a mobile phone, of which 75 percent are smartphones.

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