A bill has been introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would require utility companies give consumers the option of opting in to have their payments reported to the three major credit reporting agencies as a means of helping consumers improve their credit scores.
A copy of H.B. 2932, which was introduced by State Rep. Kristine Howard, a Democrat, can be accessed by clicking here. Howard said that the current system is “unbalanced” because only unpaid payments go reported, creating negative items on consumers’ credit reports.
The option to opt-in would be made available to new and current clients of utility companies under the bill. Utility companies would include water companies, natural gas companies, electricity companies, and certain telecommunication companies. The bill does not appear to include cellular telecommunication companies among those that would have to provide the service.
“My bill would help consumers build up good credit by requiring that public utilities offer their customers the choice of opting to have their utility payments reported to credit reporting agencies, including timely payments,” said Rep. Howard in a statement. “This measure will allow consumers to opt-in at any time, with no restrictions or expiration date.”
Utility companies would be prohibited from charging customers for the credit reporting option. The bill has been referred to the state’s House Consumer Affairs Committee for consideration.
The bill does not mention whether collection agencies that are collecting on behalf of utility companies in Pennsylvania would also be required to provide consumers with the option to opt-in to have their payments reported to a credit reporting agency.