In the good old days, you could not get a loan unless you didn’t need a loan! Most consumers could not build a credit history, had trouble accessing credit early in their careers, and found it difficult to finance major purchases—everything from a new refrigerator to their children’s dental work. What changed this? Credit providers developed better tools to determine the risk of each consumer and price credit accordingly. This data-driven risk-based pricing approach has been largely responsible for expanding credit access to tens of millions of American consumers since its introduction in the late 1980s. And it enabled a growing number of credit providers to compete for that business—lowering costs and fueling responsible innovation.