Mark your calendars! Suffolk University’s Law School and the National Consumer Law Center are convening a Research Symposium on Credit Scoring and Credit Reporting in Boston, MA on June 6-7, 2012. The symposium will be invite-only and authors are invited to submit papers for consideration until November 15, 2011. See the attached pdf on the right under "Related Files" for more details about the submission process, possible topics, and formatting.
Credit reporting and scoring are interesting issues for asset building advocates. This brief from the Shriver Center summarizes some of the problems inherent in our current credit reporting and scoring system. For example, as the brief points out, credit checks are increasingly used to determine more than just eligibility for a loan. Landlords, employers, utility providers, and others are using credit checks to make determinations about who is permitted to rent a home or who is hired. Furthermore, a bad credit score can disqualify a person from low-cost financial products, making loans a financial improbability. As the National Consumer Law Center notes, as many as 25% of credit reports contain serious errors, which are often discovered after the consumer has suffered the negative outcomes of a bad report. And then there are the estimated 50-70 million Americans who don’t have a credit score at all and are therefore shut out of the mainstream financial service sector. Without access to employment, home rental, or the option to take out a low-cost loan, asset building opportunities are slim. Credit reporting and scores therefore represent a tricky double-bind for advocates working on asset building. I am pleased to see the call for papers invites authors to submit work that delves into this issue.