Congresswoman Nikema Williams Advances Legislation to Increase Access to Homeownership

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) advanced the Expanding Access to Credit through Consumer-Permissioned Data Act (H.R. 8485) out of a markup in the House Financial Services Committee. The Expanding Access to Credit through Consumer-Permissioned Data Act would increase access to homeownership by tasking lenders—at the request of applicants–to consider financial data that historically is not included in credit scores, such as rental payment history, bank statement information, and pay stubs. Considering this data would help individuals who are credit invisible to have a fairer opportunity to buy a home.

Congresswoman Williams, a member of the House Financial Services Committee and Vice Chair of the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee said: 

“I’ve been unbanked and put in the hard financial work to make sure I could secure the American dream, but that often was not reflected in my credit score. Now I’m a homeowner and I’m determined to open the door to financial inclusion for everyone. We shouldn’t exclude people from homeownership if they can prove they are trustworthy borrowers. Homeownership is the most important way to build generational wealth and achieve the American dream. My legislation will help bring the American dream within reach for everyone, no matter your bank account or if you have a credit score.”

This legislation is endorsed by Consumer Reports, Liberation in a Generation, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), National Fair Housing Alliance, Public Citizen, and UnidosUS.

Chi Chi Wu, an attorney for the National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), said: 

“The National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, applauds Representative Williams for leading the Expanding Access to Credit through Consumer-Permissioned Data Act. This bill will promote the use of alternative data in the right way – by focusing on data that is supplied with the consumer’s permission, and by making sure creditors give this data the same weight and treatment as credit bureau data.”

CONTACT: PressGA05@mail.house.gov 

Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Williams serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee where she is Vice Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress. She is Freshman Class President and Co-Chairs the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as a champion of voting rights, closing the racial wealth gap, and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of their ZIP code or bank account.

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