Over the last 10 years, financial markets have become increasingly unstable worldwide. Due to uncalculated credit risks, there have been immeasurable losses. As a result, all financial institutions have tightened the restrictions requisite for extending credit to buy a home, car, start a business, etc. across all asset classes. Even obtaining employment has been affected by credit.
- Higher credit risk and delinquencies since 2008 have caused lenders to tighten guidelines and increase the parameters of credit worthy borrower.
- In spite of it being free, 65 % or nearly 148 million people have not ordered a copy of their credit report in the past year
- Nearly one-third of consumers do not know their credit score
- Nearly four in five adults agree that they would benefit from advice and answers to everyday financial questions from a professional
- Nearly 1 in 3 Americans is “unbanked” or “underbanked” and- despite significant efforts by regulators, consumer advocates, and leading financial institutions, this figure has remained largely unchanged since 2009.
- Richard Codray, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (February 16, 2017) stated, “In automated underwriting systems – and even in many manual underwriting systems – decisions to grant credit and set interest rates on loans are based on credit scores to a large degree. These familiar three-digit scores are drawn from the information contained in individual credit files. As such, credit scores play a central role in the financial lives of American consumers. They can determine whether people will be granted credit at all, or the terms and conditions for doing so, including the interest rate. The availability of credit scores – and the accuracy and completeness of the underlying data, have become increasingly important to almost all Americans. Unfortunately, for many consumers with a limited or non-existent credit history, a credit score is out of reach. The Consumer Bureau has run the numbers and estimates that 26 million Americans are “credit invisible,” meaning they have no credit history at all.
- Under the most widely used scoring models, another 19 million people have credit histories that are too limited or have been inactive for too long to generate a credit score. In West Virginia, nearly 180,000 residents are “credit invisible.” And nearly 130,000 residents have too little credit history or histories that are too inactive to have a credit score. Add it up, and about one-in-five adults in the Mountain State are hampered in their financial lives by the lack of a credit score.
- The same story can be told virtually anywhere in the country, since 45 million adults fall into this category nationwide. People with little or no credit history, or who lack a credit score, have fewer opportunities to borrow money in-order to build a future, and any credit that is available usually costs more. That only deepens their economic vulnerability. So, we are looking-into how fair lending laws might apply to these and other issues.”
Starting Now is a non-for-profit organization. Our Goal is simple, financial independence & equity for all. Enable people to access credible information & resources, connect with others over shared interests, & take constructive actions on the issues that matter most to them to accomplish their financial independence & equity. This will be done via a unique delivery system to improve their financial opportunities and track changes.
Our mission is to help consumers achieve greater economic success by providing credit and financial education, and sustainable solutions to reflect changing lifestyles. We aim to reach all segments of the population through technology, banking institutions, and by reaching out to community-based organizations serving and empowering these groups (plus more).