May 19, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King is cosponsoring a bipartisan bill that would help millions of Americans improve or create their credit scores. The Credit Access and Inclusion Act would permit the reporting of rent, telephone, and internet bills to credit agencies, allowing Maine people who pay their bills on time to build a positive credit history. This expansion would help those currently without credit scores establish them based on daily household payments.
“When you’re trying to rent an apartment, open a credit card, or lease a car, the first question you’re asked is ‘how is your credit’ – but not all your basic monthly payments are included in this process. If you pay your bills on time, you should be able to show creditors your track record of being responsible and on schedule,” said Senator King. “The Credit Access and Inclusion Act will help millions of Americans build credit scores that better reflect their responsible financial decisions. This is a bipartisan, commonsense step to remove barriers that prevent hardworking Maine people from accessing essential opportunities.”
Approximately 26 million Americans are “credit invisible,” meaning they lack credit records or history of traditional payments like student loans, car loans, or mortgage payments. Having 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 payment data for services not traditionally factored into credit reporting like 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.”
Along with Senator King, the Credit Access and Inclusion Act is supported by Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), and Katie Britt (R-Ala.).