A New Jersey congressman has a few ideas to help Americans improve their credit scores.

One is to allow people to check their credit scores from all three credit agencies and correct any mistakes simultaneously.

The other is too allow rent payments and phone bills to be used to help build a credit history.

U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J. 5th District, noted that 28% of all consumers have errors in their credit reports.

 

"At some point in your life, you're trying to get a loan or you're trying to lease a car or get a cell phone and you don't really know what makes up this black box of information that makes up your credit report and your score that's on the report," he said. "It's kind of hard to figure out what's behind it. And when they have all these errors and these breaches ... it's really difficult to cure them, to solve them."

Gottheimer says helping people with their credit helps more people achieve the American Dream.

"You pay your cell phone bill every month: Should that also be part of your credit file when determining if you should be able to get a loan or start a small business?" he said.

"This is exactly what the American Dream is about: making sure that you know if you're successful, you play by the rules, you actually pay your bills on time and do everything right, and you want to then to get the credit for it and the ability to then get a little more."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5