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July 27, 2021

King Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Reform Credit Accessibility for Americans

Apartment rentals, utility bills would now be added to credit rating considerations – improving conditions for millions of Americans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) is co-sponsoring the Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2021 to expand access to credit for an estimated 45 million Americans who have 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. Senator King previously cosponsored this bill in the 116th Congress.

“So many important life events require a strong credit score, including buying a house, going to school, or opening a credit card,” said Senator King. “However, an estimated 45 million Americans are blocked from these milestones because they haven’t built up a credit score despite years of on-time rent or water payments. This is a serious problem, but fortunately there is an easy solution – we can count on-time payments on recurring expenses like rent, phone and utility bills towards establishing good credit. Our bipartisan bill would unlock new financial opportunities, allowing tens of millions of Americans to strengthen their credit score and build a positive track record for their future.”  

“Credit invisible” Americans typically do not have the history of traditional payments such as student loans, mortgages, and car loan payments, effectively eliminating 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. The bipartisan Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2021 opens opportunities for Americans to build credit by allowing utility providers and landlords to report on-time payments to credit agencies.

In addition to Senator King, the Credit Access and Inclusion Act is supported by Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).

Click here to view full bill text.

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