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Alternative Credit Data

To Report or Not to Report, That Is the Question

By Karen K. Harris & Susan Ritacca

Advocates agree that the credit reporting system is flawed and discriminatory against low-income families. Establishing credit, however, is a form of asset building that opens up opportunities and access to mainstream credit. Some propose that full reporting of alternative data will help individuals establish good credit. The National Consumer Law Center urges that the credit reporting system itself be reformed first before deciding to add any data to a structurally deficient system. Reform needs to ensure that Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program recipients do not lose their benefits as a result of late payments.

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