Rep. McHenry sponsors bill to protect credit profiles of consumers

U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) on March 11 reintroduced the Protecting Consumer Access to Credit Act, which would reform the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by ensuring accurate and secure credit profiles.

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“Access to credit can make the difference between being able to purchase a home, car, or send a child to college — and not,” McHenry said. “An accurate and secure credit profile is the best way to ensure Americans can achieve these goals. My legislation would remove certain adverse credit information incurred at no fault of the consumer, including paid, non-elective medical debt.”

McHenry noted the measure, H.R. 1645, would also secure Americans’ most personal information when cybersecurity risks are at an all-time high.

“These common sense reforms to FCRA are needed now more than ever as we exit the pandemic and work to ensure all Americans can take part in our nation’s recovery,” he said.

According to a bill summary provided by McHenry’s office, the legislation would ensure a consumer found to have been impacted by predatory mortgage or student lending or financial abuse would have the negative information removed from his or her consumer report. In addition, it would prevent credit reporting agencies from using Social Security numbers for verification purposes; grant the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) authority to oversee cybersecurity efforts of credit reporting agencies; and address the process used by credit reporting agencies for a parent to request a security freeze of their child’s credit.