December 09, 2015

Senators Manchin, Kirk, and Representatives Ellison, Fitzpatrick introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Expand Access to Credit

Nearly 50 Million Americans are ‘Credit Invisible’ Due to Limited Credit History

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today announced the introduction of The Credit Access and Inclusion Act (S. 2355), which helps consumers without traditional credit histories access credit by allowing non-financial service providers, like gas, electric and telecommunication companies, to report their customers’ on-time payments to credit reporting agencies. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, nearly 50 Americans are “credit invisible” – which means their credit history is limited or nonexistent, often because they have never had a credit card or made a mortgage payment. Those without credit reports face barriers when buying a home, securing loans or attempting to establish a secure financial history.

"All West Virginians and Americans deserve a chance to gain access to credit if they pay their bills on time every month," Senator Manchin said. "It’s just common sense to give everyone a fair shot and earn access to credit if they have proven their ability to be responsible. It’s a real shame that the current system keeps some of the most vulnerable citizens in the shadows, and I am proud to work with my friend, Senator Mark Kirk, to fix this issue."

“1.4 million men and women in Illinois are unable to build a credit score, making it very difficult to get a loan, mortgage or credit cards,” Senator Kirk said. “My bipartisan bill with Senator Manchin levels the playing field for those who want to build a credit score.”

S. 2355 amends the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act to allow providers like gas, electric and telecommunication companies to report payment history to bureaus like Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. As a result, low and moderate income individuals would be able to access affordable and responsible financial products and services to build wealth.