New FICO credit score could broaden access to more lending options

You may soon be able to lift your credit score by leveraging your checking and savings account data.

FICO is releasing a new score that could enhance credit scores by linking with checking, savings or money market accounts. According to their website, the UltraFICO Score could broaden access to more lending options and better terms.

With the slogan “The Score You Build”, the UltraFICO Score shows lenders indicators of responsible financial behavior, not visible on a traditional credit report, including evidence of savings and keeping a healthy average balance; maintaining a bank account over time, avoiding having a negative balance and regularly paying bills and making other bank transactions.

This additional information could help boost the credit scores of some of the 79 million Americans who have poor credit histories, explains USA Today, along with the 53 million who have no credit score at all under the traditional FICO model.

“We’ve been focused on financial inclusion, and what we’ve done can potentially improve access to credit for the majority of Americans who participate in it,” says Sally Taylor-Shoff, vice president of score at FICO.

This new score is a joint Financial Inclusion partnership between FICO, Finicity, and Experian and it will be initially available through a small group of lenders as part of a limited pilot phase for consumers who cannot currently access credit or could be eligible for better terms, FICO explained.

The initial pilot phase is designed for fine-tuning the deployment of the score. As FICO completes this phase, the UltraFICO Score will be more broadly available.

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