December 8, 2009 — Report

A research consultant has recently produced several reports promoting utility company reporting of all customer payment behaviors and transactions to the major consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). Proponents of full utility reporting contend that it is required to help “thin file” and “no file” consumers to build credit history and gain access to bank loans and other sources of credit. However, proponents are also motivated by seeing consumers – even those who struggle to meet monthly financial obligations – move utility bills to the top of monthly “to pay” piles in order to mitigate utility risk. In making a “business case” for full utility credit reporting, a recent publication of the Political and Economic Research Council promotes full credit reporting as the answer to the question, “How can consumers be encouraged to put their utility and telecommunication bills at the top of the payment pile?”