Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota

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Ellison Leads Passage of Bipartisan Credit Access and Inclusion Act

Feb 27, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON — After five years of persistent advocacy, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), author of the bipartisan Credit Access and Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 5078, formerly H.R. 435) today voted to pass the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives. Rep. Ellison's bill, which expands credit access to millions of new low-income and minority households, passed unanimously.

“Simply by changing how Americans’ financial information is reported to credit rating agencies, this bill will help millions more Americans access credit and everything that comes with it,” said Rep. Keith Ellison. “That means once this bill is signed into law, millions of Americans who previously couldn’t will now be able to access a lower-cost loan, cheaper car payments, or better rent for their apartment. That’s why I’m proud to have fought for this legislation for years, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to send it to the President’s desk.”

“The passage of the Credit Access and Inclusion Act has the potential to bring a substantial number of people into the credit mainstream, particularly low-income families and households of color,” said David Newville, Director of Federal Policy at Prosperity Now. "We applaud Representative Keith Ellison’s leadership in authoring this bill. Many families in this country will benefit from the opportunity to build strong credit, a cornerstone of financial security, that this bill makes possible.”

“Credit Builders Alliance’s experience supporting hundreds of non-profit lenders and financial advocates across the US over the last decade reveals that the absence of a credit history remains a significant barrier for households seeking safe and affordable credit products, rental housing and jobs,” said Dara Duguay, Executive Director of the Credit Builders Alliance. “This bill begins to level the playing field. Although the positive payments from nontraditional credit sources do not show up on their credit reports, derogatory data – should they fall behind -- does so through the collections process. Without the ability to build a credit history with those positive payments, millions of Americans continue to lose opportunities to get and stay ahead in our economy today.”

“Today, thanks to dedication and leadership from Chairman Hensarling and Representative Keith Ellison, Congress took a big step toward helping tens of millions of Credit Invisibles in America,” said Michael A. Turner, President and CEO of PERC. “By passing HR 5078, Congress removed a major barrier to credit reporting proven payment data. When reported to nationwide credit bureaus, this data will ultimately help working Americans, younger and elderly Americans, and immigrants build or restore a good credit history in order to build assets and wealth, as well as enable financial security."

The Credit Access and Inclusion Act (H.R. 5078), supported by Democrats and Republicans, would allow utility and telecom companies and landlords to report on-time payment data to credit reporting agencies, helping those with little to no credit build their credit scores based on a full picture of their payment history. 

In the 115th Congress, H.R. 435 had 30 cosponsors and passed in the Financial Services Committee by a unanimous 60-0 vote. Original cosponsors of H.R. 435 are Reps. Robert Pittenger (R-NC), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Al Green (D-TX), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Mia Love (R-UT), Michael Capuano (D-MA), James Renacci (R-OH), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Walter Jones (R-NC), John Conyers (D-MI), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).