Remote video URL
Financial Inclusion: Lessons Learned and What’s Next for Innovations in Alternative Credit Data

Nearly 50 million Americans lack enough of a credit history to obtain a traditional credit score. Some 28 million consumers have files with insufficient data, and more than 20 million have no credit bureau file at all, or are “credit invisible.” Because financial institutions have difficulty confidently lending to these consumers, they may be unable to obtain mortgages, credit cards, and other lending products. And, unable to obtain a mortgage, these consumers—who are disproportionately people of color and people with low incomes—are excluded from America’s strongest wealth-building tool: homeownership.

Yet many pay rent, utilities, and consistently meet other recurring financial obligations, suggesting they are actually a low risk for default. Though alternative credit data have emerged as a way to demonstrate consumers' abilities to repay, hurdles remain in accessing such data, getting them accepted for use, and ultimately improving access to lending products among the credit invisible.

Join the Urban Institute for a virtual event exploring alternative credit data and financial inclusion. Grovetta Gardineer, senior deputy comptroller for bank supervision policy at the US Department of the Treasury, will discuss tools lenders could use to quickly harness alternative data, the potential of consumer-permissioned data, alternative credit data’s meaning to different lenders, the challenges to using such data, and how policymakers and regulators can advance efforts to use these data. An expert panel will respond to these remarks and share lessons learned since the Urban Institute’s event on the UltraFICO Score and consumer-permissioned data in 2018.



  • Grovetta Gardineer, Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, US Department of the Treasury

Panel Discussion

  • Shawn Rife, Director, Risk Scoring, Experian
  • David Shellenberger, Vice President, Scores and Predictive Analytics, FICO
  • Michelle Singletary, Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Columnist, Washington Post
  • Kelly Thompson Cochran, Deputy Director, FinRegLab
  • Laurie Goodman, Vice President, Housing Finance Policy, Urban Institute (moderator)




Support for this event is provided by FICO, a Housing Finance Innovation Forum member. For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Image credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.


Date & Time Tuesday, February 23, 2021

  • Institute Fellow