New credit scores method will help some who cannot now get credit

FICO scores are used in the issuance of 90% of all loans in the United States. But Fair Isaac, the company that creates the FICO score does not have enough information to do scores for about 53 million Americans, either because they don’t use credit by choice or they have a bankruptcy, foreclosure or collection effort on their record.

Now Fair Isaac is going to use a different system that should allow them to create an alternate FICO score for 15 million people who do not have one.

The base for the new score will include payment history on utility bills, cable bills and cellphone bills, as well as address changes over time. This new system should provide at least 5 million people with a credit score of 620 or more (scores range from 300-650), enough to get a credit card.

Once they have used the credit card for six months or more, made regular payments and kept low balance, then consumers will get a regular FICO score, which will make them eligible for other loans, like mortgages.

Twelve of the largest credit card issuers are participating in this program, although Fair Isaac has not identified them.

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