President Joe Biden's campaign proposal to create a new agency within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to provide credit scores has not been successful.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which implements and enforces federal consumer financial law, told PolitiFact it has "taken significant actions" to help consumers combat coercion through increased guidance to the consumer reporting industry, agency enforcement and rulemaking powers.
A bureau spokesperson also said the agency is "taking an expansive look at" how to hold the largest three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (which are all private) — accountable for complying with their legal obligations to investigate consumers' disputes and correct errors, among other things.
But the agency did not confirm the creation of a public credit reporting entity, as Biden promised.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D- Mass., in July introduced a bill to amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act and require nationwide consumer reporting agencies to use a person's current legal name on consumer reports, among other documents. The bill's main goal is to protect transgender people from unlawful discrimination based on their gender identity. It did not propose creating a public credit reporting agency.
A separate bill that Pressley introduced in 2021, the Comprehensive CREDIT Act of 2021, aimed to overhaul credit agency regulation but also left out a public credit reporting agency. Neither bill moved out of committee for a full House review.
Other credit reform bills died in the Senate of the current 117th Congress.
Many were proposed after a June 2021 House Financial Services Committee hearing on racial and income inequities in the credit reporting system.
PolitiFact contacted the press office of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, inquiring about actions taken to advance Biden's promise. We did not hear back.
Dan Quan, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute's Center for Monetary Policy and Financial Alternatives who testified at the House Financial Services Committee hearing, told PolitiFact that without Congress passing a law authorizing a public credit reporting agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau cannot create it. Yet even if one were to be created, he said "accuracy still has been a very thorny issue" of the regulator's recent work.
Overall, despite the agency's latest efforts to hold the consumer financial reporting industry accountable, there haven't been substantial actions from the Biden administration or Congress to move forward Biden's pledge to create a new public credit reporting agency. We rate this promise Stalled.