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A report on the Bureau’s Building a Bridge to Credit Visibility Symposium

On September 17th, 2018, the Bureau convened its first fair lending symposium, Building a Bridge to Credit Visibility, to address the issue of access to credit. Bureau research has found that one-in-ten adults in the U.S., or 26 million people, are “credit invisible,” and that another 19 million adults in the U.S. have “unscorable” credit records. Together, this accounts for almost 20 percent of the entire U.S. adult population.

The symposium took place at CFPB Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Panelists who attended the symposium discussed strategies and innovations for overcoming barriers faced by credit invisible and unscorable consumers and expanding credit access. Major topic areas included:

  • Exploring entry products that address credit invisibility while preparing the consumer for future financial success.
  • Identifying barriers and solutions to accessing credit in microenterprise and small business lending.
  • Considering the role that alternative data and modeling techniques can play in expanding access to traditional credit.

In an effort to better understand credit invisibility, in conjunction with the symposium, we published our latest data point, The Geography of Credit Invisibility , which takes a closer look at the relationship between geography and access to credit. This latest research report on geography and access to credit builds on our earlier work exploring credit invisibility and transitioning to credit visibility .

Today we are releasing a report that provides an overview of the Building a Bridge to Credit Visibility symposium’s content, as well as key themes from the many industry, consumer and civil rights, academic, and regulatory agency experts that served as speakers, panelists, and participants. A video recording of the convening, with closed captions, is available.

The CFPB is committed to continue convening conversations about fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory access to credit, using what we learn from these events to inform our fair lending work, as well as sharing “best practices” in this area. In that spirit, we will host another fair lending symposium later this year; more details about the next fair lending symposium will be forthcoming.

Read more on the Building a Bridge to Credit Visibility symposium in the report.

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