Wednesday | July 21, 2021

Scott, Manchin Reintroduce Legislation to Increase Access to Credit and Opportunity

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) reintroduced the Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2021 to expand access to credit for an estimated 45 million Americans with either no credit history or a credit history that is too scarcely populated to generate a credit score. This bipartisan legislation would permit landlords and utility and telecom providers to report on-time payments data to credit reporting agencies, giving consumers the opportunity to develop a positive credit history by establishing a track record of paying these bills on time.

“Too many Americans are denied the opportunity to build wealth through buying a home or car, or taking out a loan for school, because they don’t have a credit score,” said Senator Tim Scott. “If you pay your bills on time, you should be able to build credit—simple as that. We must remove barriers to opportunity by fixing a broken system that currently locks out millions of people in South Carolina and across the country.”

“Every American who pays their bills on time every month deserves the opportunity to build credit. This commonsense, bipartisan bill would give ‘credit invisible’ Americans the chance to develop a credit score, which is needed to purchase a home or car, or take out student loans,” said Senator Manchin. “It is frustrating that the current system keeps many of the most vulnerable Americans from building a credit score. I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan bill to ensure all Americans and West Virginians have the opportunity to build credit.”

Cosponsors of the Credit Access and Inclusion Act include Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).

Background:

  • “Credit invisible” Americans typically do not have the history of traditional payments such as student loans, mortgages, and car loan payments, which effectively eliminates their ability to receive a credit score under the current system.
  • This limited approach has resulted in 26 million Americans who are considered “credit invisible” despite their established history of paying these bills on time. 
  • Meanwhile, another 18 million Americans are unscorable because their credit histories are too scant or old.

Click here to view full bill text.

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