Fitzpatrick Credit Access Bill Gets Senate Partner

Fitzpatrick Credit Access Bill Gets Senate Partner

LANGHORNE, PA – Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) released the following statement Friday regarding the introduction of the Senate companion bill to his Credit Access and Inclusion Act [H.R. 2538] by Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Kirk (R-IL):

“In June, Congressman Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota, and I introduced a bipartisan bill to help those with little to no credit build their credit scores based on a true, full picture of the regular bills they pay every day.

This simple legislation would allow nearly 100 million Americans to establish, or raise, their credit score – increasing their ability to access credit and removing the often incorrect moniker of ‘High Risk’ from their borrowing ability. Millions of hardworking Americans would benefit from having their positive payment history made part of their credit score– this bill addresses that in a common sense manner.

I thank Senators Kirk and Manchin for their bipartisan leadership in the Senate and their efforts to reduce the numbers of ‘Credit Invisibles’ in our nation.  I encourage swift consideration of this legislation in both chambers.”

Currently, credit scores are compiled using resources many Americans do not use such as credit cards as opposed to bills most Americans pay regularly like utility bills or cell phones.  Extensive research from the Policy Economic Research Council (PERC) finds that adding just one utility bill enables 74% of ‘credit invisible’ customers to obtain credit scores. More accurate credit scores enable lenders to make more loans.

Including alternative payment history will benefit consumers across the demographic spectrum. For example, 15% of young people ages 18 to 25 move from having no credit score to being able to qualify for credit at prime—not subprime--rates.  This expanded reporting will do the same for 11% of adults over age 66, 15% of Latinos, 10% of African Americans, and 7% of renters. Approximately 55% of consumers who had suffered a bankruptcy or had very late payments saw their credit scores increase when a utility or telecom payment was included.

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Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.