Rep. Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, introduced legislation Thursday to reform consumer credit reporting.
The California Democrat's bill would give the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the power to oversee the development of credit scoring models, including alternative credit scoring models that could help borrowers with thin-credit profiles. It would also give borrowers more ability to fix problems with their credit scores.
The credit reporting process is often opaque to the consumers that it tracks, making error resolution difficult. The system is also often ill-equipped to account for extenuating circumstances that can lead to a black mark.
Under the bill, the CFPB would be required to consult with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on reviewing and updating the credit scoring methods used by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which could expand their credit box.
The "Comprehensive Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 2016" would also reduce the time that negative information stays on a credit report from seven years to four. For bankruptcies, it would be reduced from 10 years to seven.
If the bill were to be passed, victims of predatory student loans, medical debts and unfair mortgage lending practices would also experience a reprieve.