Experian, FICO and Fincity are touting a new credit scoring model they say can increase access to credit for millions of U.S. citizens.
UltraFICO, as the new model is known, takes into account more than just the information reported to the three main credit scoring agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It also looks at consumer’s banking history, and tries to rate them according to how they manage their money.
According to FICO, the new model will expand access to credit.
Consumers will need to grant the credit reporting agencies access to their bank statements under the new model. As a result, the agencies will be able to see how long their accounts have been open, the frequency of their account activity, and evidence of their saving. Fincity will read the data electronically and combine this with Experian’s consumer credit information.
“This approach allows Americans to benefit from positive financial behaviors,” Finicity CEO Steve Smith told HousingWire. “We are proud to have created a new way for consumers to share financial information, safely and securely so that a new UltraFICO Score can be created.”
Experian, FICO and Fincity say the UltraFICO model will benefit consumers with credit ratings in the upper 500s to lower 600s most of all. In addition, those with a limited credit history or previous financial problems could also benefit.
“This changes the whole dynamic of the lender and customer relationship,” said Jim Wehmann, FICO Scores executive vice president. “It empowers consumers to have greater control over the information that is being used in making credit risk decisions.”
“It also enables a deeper dialogue between the consumer and lenders to help both parties make better financial decisions,” Wehmann continued. “It’s a game changer.”
The plan is for UltraFICO to be launched as a pilot program in early 2019, in order to assess consumer’s willingness to share their banking information. Participants for the pilot have already been sourced across a range of lines of business.
“As the consumer’s bureau, our goal is to help empower consumers and to give better access to credit for more consumers, all while promoting fair lending,” said Alex Lintner, Experian president of consumer information services. “Through this project, we’ve found a new way to use consumer-permissioned data that allows lenders to make better decisions and helps consumers gain access to credit.”