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TransUnion Hosts US Congressman Emanuel Cleaver to Discuss Financial Inclusion in Homeownership

PwP Panel

Healthy credit is key to building a bright financial future. For homebuyers, it’s often essential. Unfortunately, many consumers in under-resourced or under-banked communities simply cannot access mainstream financial services, putting homeownership out of reach.

TU Economic Inclusion Strategy Leader Tracie Anderson sat down with US Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-05) to discuss barriers to homeownership and financial inclusion. TU Chief Human Resources Officer Susan Muigai kicked off the event with a sobering statistic: roughly 60 million Americans have little to no credit history, and as a result are largely unscorable using traditional risk models.

Fortunately, there are ways to help. Congressman Cleaver provided insights into the bi-partisan work being done in Congress to address the unique challenges faced by under-resourced communities, particularly Black Americans. The discussion highlighted Congressman Cleaver’s work while serving as Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance – including the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act, passed into law in 2016.

The program aims to streamline administration within public housing, easing the burden off private owners as well as limiting the number of rent increases families face as their income level raises.

The conversation also turned to the use of alternative data, which includes adding rent, utility payments and similar bills to the credit report. If implemented, under-banked consumers could build credit with the everyday payments they already make – a model which, according to TransUnion research, allows lenders to accurately score more than 90% of consumers who are otherwise considered ‘thin file’ or credit-invisible.

TransUnion understands the importance access to housing and credit visibility plays in the lives of Americans. We remain grateful to Congressman Cleaver for a good discussion and look forward to further efforts delivering on our mission of Information for Good®.  

Do you have questions? Our team is ready to help.