Welcome to the News View for "Credit Scores".
Here, on these archive pages, you'll find all of the articles on Payments News for Credit Scores listed in date sequence beginning with the most recent article at the top of the page.
The Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released a new discussion paper titled "Alternative Data and Its Use in Credit Scoring Thin- and No-File Consumers" .
Fair Isaac has announced an alliance with High Mark Credit Information Services of India to introduce Fair Isaac's global-standard FICO credit risk scoring technology to Indian lenders.
Fair Isaac and Associacao Comercial de Sao Paulo (ACSP), one of the largest credit bureaus in Brazil, have announced ACSP’s launch of Global FICO Score for Brazilian businesses - saying that "the launch of this innovative consumer credit-risk score makes Brazil the first South American nation to access Fair Isaac’s global-standard FICO credit risk scoring technology."
Chase Card Services has announced "the expansion of Chase Clear & Simple, an ongoing program designed to help Chase customers better understand and manage their accounts, with the adoption of new, clearer pricing practices. Chase is eliminating a practice, commonly used in the industry, of increasing interest rates for individual cardholders when their credit-bureau scores decline. This change is effective on March 1, 2008."
ID Analytics has announced ID Score-Revenue, calling it "a new solution to help companies expand their customer base by more accurately evaluating the risk of individuals that lack substantial credit histories."
Grameen American and Experian have announced the two companies have established "a unique data reporting relationship to support Grameen America's business" that will "enable Grameen America's borrowers to establish their credit files and will provide the foundation for building the borrowers' credit scores allowing access to financial services previously not available."
Experian has announced the launch of BusinessCreditFacts.com, a new online resource designed to help small-business owners gain a greater understanding of the many topics dealing with business credit, such as the importance of business credit and tips for establishing and improving business credit scores.
Visa USA has published results of a new survey that shows that "the vast majority of Americans do not know that a bad credit score is more than just a barrier to getting a loan - it may also keep you from getting the job you want." According to the survey, "only 20 percent of Americans know that it is legal for employers to refuse to hire job applicants with low credit scores. Fully 52 percent of Americans mistakenly believe it is illegal for prospective employers to use credit scores as a hiring criteria and another 28 percent of survey respondents are unsure."
Online Banking Report's latest issue titled "The Market for Fraud Protection, Identity Theft, and Credit Monitoring Services" recommends that "the time is right for ALL financial institutions to add identity protection/monitoring to their online offerings. The service has been optimized for Web delivery; it provides clear user benefits; it’s relatively easy to implement, and it can directly contribute to the bottom line in real, fee-based dollars, not nebulous intangibles.”
Leslie McFadden of Bankrate.com interviews Evan Hendricks, the author of "Credit Scores & Credit Reports: How the System Really Works, What You Can Do", about his concerns with the credit reporting system in the US.
Last week, in testimony before the US House Financial Services Committee, Sandra Braunstein, Director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs of The Federal Reserve Board, provided a deep look at consumer credit reports in the US. The Committee was looking into issues associated with errors in credit reports and how consumers can get the errors corrected.
In an article titled 'Credit Bureaus Fight Consumer-Ordered Freezes", Byron Acohido and Jon Swartz write for USA Today about the Consumer Data Industry Association and its efforts on behalf of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) to slow legislative efforts at the state level regarding laws that enable consumers to freeze access to their credit histories. They write that "by far the best protection against new-account fraud is a credit freeze, say credit consultants and fraud investigators. A credit freeze bars the credit bureaus from issuing your credit report — the summary of loans and payments that forms the basis of your credit score."
Alan Wirzbicki writes for the Boston Globe about comments made at yesterday's House Financial Services Committee meeting by chairman Rep. Barney Frank who said "the federal government was not moving quickly enough to regulate the consumer credit bureaus and opened the possibility of new legislation later this year." A webcast archive of the hearing along with copies of the prepared testimony is available on the Committee's web site.
Today, the US House Committee on Financial Services is holding a hearing titled "Credit Reports: Consumers’ Ability to Dispute and Change Inaccurate Information" to "examine factors that continue to contribute to inaccurate consumer credit reports and evaluate the adequacy of the consumer dispute process under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In addition, the Committee will hear recommendations for improving the process and efforts that furnishers, credit bureaus and the regulators are taking to improve the accuracy of credit report information and will review the status of key rule makings and studies mandated by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) related to the accuracy of information furnished to consumer reporting agencies and the adequacy of the dispute resolution process."
Experian Consumer Direct reports that the average credit score for U.S. consumers with no late auto payments is nearly 100 points higher than for those who have at least one late payment.
Fair Isaac has announced that it will "adjust its FICO scoring formula to ensure the continued reliability and predictive power of FICO scores. This action is intended to protect lenders and FICO scores from abuse of authorized user credit card accounts by a new kind of credit repair service that sells consumer credit card histories to credit applicants in order to purposefully misrepresent the applicants’ own credit history to lenders and other businesses."
Visa USA has announced the national launch of its What's My Score program - including giving away 5,000 free FICO credit scores - to college students. The launch coincides with the release of a new survey of credit and debit cardholders that shows that only 17 percent of those surveyed knew their FICO credit score by the time they were 21 years old.
The Mint blog has an in-depth look into credit scores, why they're important, how they're calculated, how to improve your credit score, etc. Mint is a "venture-funded startup that is working nights and weekends to build a free, effortless, and secure anytime-anywhere personal finance tool for individuals who want control of their current and financial future." You can sign up to be notified when they launch.
Gerri Willis writes for CNN Money about techniques consumers can use to increase their credit scores - "the best way to improve your credit score in the short term is to pay off the high balances on your credit card - that can raise your FICO score 60 to 70 points overnight."
TransUnion’s TrueCredit.com has announced results from two surveys it recently commissioned with GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media designed to gauge distinct aspects of consumers’ current credit habits. "TrueCredit.com found that 35 percent of consumers actually report purchasing less on credit this holiday season than last year, when the same question yielded 43 percent. Similar to the 2006 survey, four in ten (43 percent) say they have the same amount of credit card debt this year as last, with 11 percent reporting they have more debt and 29 percent reporting they have less."
Peter Hull writes for the Charleston (SC) Post and Courier about how "most insurers, including State Farm, Allstate and S.C. Farm Bureau, routinely use [consumer] credit scores to assess risk when issuing or renewing policies."
Brian O'Conner writes for the Detroit News about a recent change by local utility DTE Energy who began "reporting the payment histories of all 2.5 million customers to the major credit bureaus in August." The impact on consumers missing a bill payment due date has been significant - O'Conner cites an example of one consumer whose "late DTE payment knocked his all-important credit score down by 100 points -- and pushed the interest rate on his new mortgage up."
Beth Healy writes for the Boston Globe about credit bureau data quality issues and just how irritating they can be for consumers. Healy reports that US Rep. Barney Frank, who becomes chairman this week of the House Financial Services Committee, plans to hold hearings early this year to look into the problems.
CompuCredit has announced it is "joining with the alternative credit bureau PRBC in an innovative program to help consumers build credit by reporting consumers' positive payment history that is neither received nor reported by other credit bureaus."
Harriet Weinstein reports for the Greenwich (CT) Time on Stamford-based VantageScore Solutions, the new company established earlier this year by the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to introduce a new credit score. According to Weinstein, we should "consider VantageScore as taking a more compassionate - and more sophisticated - look at your creditworthiness, and coming up with a better answer for the bank when it asks what kind of person you are."
The Center for Financial Services Innovation has announced publication of two new papers on alternative credit data. The first, "Market Interest in Alternative Data Sources and Credit Scoring" (PDF) by Katy Jacob and Rachel Schneider, investigates the potential interest in alternative data on the lender side, by interviewing senior lending officers and other key decision-makers at 23 major financial institutions. The second, "Accessing Credit: The Role of Private Loan Services for Underbanked Clients and Prospects at CircleLending" (PDF) by Katy Jacob and Helen Payne Watt, surveys users of CircleLending's pioneering process to formalize and automate private person-to-person loans, to better understand why customers chose this credit option, and how it effected their behavior.
Pay Rent, Build Credit, Inc. has announced that "the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted Patent Number 7,139,734 for the company's technology and method for collecting data on commonly recurring bill payments made by individuals and small businesses, and incorporating them in a credit file, credit report, and credit score. Examples of common monthly payments that go largely unreported to traditional credit bureaus include rent, private mortgages, non-prime auto loans, utilities, phone, cable, insurance premiums, pay day advances, and rental furniture and appliances."
Experian Consumer Direct has announced the results of a recent National Score Index study showing a 16.9 percent decline from 2001 to 2006 in the rate at which consumers are opening new credit accounts and a 12.6 percent rate at which late payments of 90 days or more are increasing. The national average credit score is 675 -- 7 points lower from 2001 when it was 682.
Fair Isaac has announced that its FICO Expansion credit risk score "has proven in a major lending-industry study to be the first strong and reliable credit score for assessing the risk of millions of Americans who have little or no credit information on file at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The study also demonstrated that FICO Expansion score aligns with the company’s industry-standard Classic FICO score for quicker adoption by lenders and combined coverage of as many as 50 million more American consumers than can be addressed by any competing credit risk model." According to an FAQ, the "FICO Expansion score analyzes non-traditional credit data. Examples of such data include deposit account records, pay day loan cashing, and purchase payment plan performance."