Nearly 50 million Americans lack enough of a credit history to obtain a traditional credit score. Some 28 million consumers have files with insufficient data, and more than 20 million have no credit bureau file at all, or are “credit invisible.” Because financial institutions have difficulty confidently lending to these consumers, they may be unable to obtain mortgages, credit cards, and other lending products. And, unable to obtain a mortgage, these consumers—who are disproportionately people of color and people with low incomes—are excluded from America’s strongest wealth-building tool: homeownership.
Yet many pay rent, utilities, and consistently meet other recurring financial obligations, suggesting they are actually a low risk for default. Though alternative credit data have emerged as a way to demonstrate consumers' abilities to repay, hurdles remain in accessing such data, getting them accepted for use, and ultimately improving access to lending products among the credit invisible.
Join the Urban Institute for a virtual event exploring alternative credit data and financial inclusion. Grovetta Gardineer, senior deputy comptroller for bank supervision policy at the US Department of the Treasury, will discuss tools lenders could use to quickly harness alternative data, the potential of consumer-permissioned data, alternative credit data’s meaning to different lenders, the challenges to using such data, and how policymakers and regulators can advance efforts to use these data. An expert panel will respond to these remarks and share lessons learned since the Urban Institute’s event on the UltraFICO Score and consumer-permissioned data in 2018.