Modern Credit Systems, Alternative Data & the American Dream


Consider the conventional portfolio of the American Dream: owning a home, buying a car, perhaps starting a small business—each typically requires a substantial amount of credit to turn the dream into a reality. For many Americans who lack access to traditional credit, these quintessential markers of stability and success may remain out of reach.
Data released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2015 revealed about 45 million people in the U.S. lacked credit records or had records considered “unscorable.” The FDIC's biennial 2019 survey of U.S. households showed more than 7 million homes were reportedly “unbanked,” meaning no one in the home had a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union.

Economists and some members of Congress have suggested incorporating alternative data like cell phone, utility and rent payments in credit scores. These data lines, currently excluded from traditional credit scores, could provide information on financial responsibility that would expand credit access.

What guardrails can policymakers implement to ensure responsible use and adherence to applicable consumer protection laws? Can alternative data be used to increase access to credit for underserved families? What needs to be done for lenders to become comfortable using alternative data in credit underwriting?

The Hill will convene policy experts, consumer advocates and more to explore financial inclusion and how innovation can tackle modern credit problems.


Tuesday, January 26, 2020 1:00 PM ET / 10:00 AM PT



  • Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Member, Financial Services Committee; Chair, Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion
  • John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc.
  • Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Ranking Member, Financial Services Committee
  • Michael Neal, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute
  • Suze Orman, Personal Finance Expert
  • Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist, Zillow
  • Chi Chi Wu, Staff Attorney, National Consumer Law Center


Sponsor Perspective

  • Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, Personal Finance Expert
  • Will Lansing, Chief Executive Officer, FICO



  • Steve Clemons, Editor-at-Large, The Hill


Join the conversation! Tweet us @TheHillEvents and #TheHillCredit