Timmons, Levin Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Credit Access for Veterans
Rep. William Timmons (R-SC) and Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) recently introduced H.R. 8758, the Building Credit Access for Veterans Act to help expand credit options for veterans and members of the Armed Forces who are eligible for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) housing or small business loans and have an insufficient credit history. This bill requires the VA to evaluate the use of alternative credit scoring information or models to improve the determination of creditworthiness of individuals who are able to obtain VA housing and small business loans.
“Serving our nation comes with many sacrifices, but homeownership should not be one of them,” said Rep. William Timmons. “I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to help our servicemembers and veterans utilize alternative credit sources to access VA loans. Our legislation will help put the dream of owning a home within reach for more of America’s heroes.”
“Veterans who have served our country deserve every opportunity to achieve home ownership, but too often they are denied VA home loans because they lack adequate credit,” said Rep. Mike Levin. “Our bipartisan bill will help VA rectify this problem by expanding access to credit through alternative scoring models for veterans. The unique circumstances military families experience when it comes to building credit shouldn’t prevent them from achieving home ownership, and I’m hopeful our bipartisan bill will allow more families to secure a VA home loan.”
The Building Credit Access for Veterans Act directs VA to carry out a pilot program to assess the feasibility and advisability of:
- Using alternative credit scoring information or models for covered veterans and servicemembers in order to improve the determination of creditworthiness and increase the number of such individuals who are able to obtain a VA home loan; and
- Establishing criteria for acceptable commercially available credit scoring models to be used by VA lenders.
Covered veterans and servicemembers are those who are eligible for a VA home loan but do not have a credit record with one of the national credit reporting agencies or their credit record contains insufficient information to assess worthiness. Alternative credit scoring information may include proof of rent, utility, and insurance payment histories, and other information VA considers appropriate.
Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the bill in the Senate.