Thursday, December 3, 2009

like the payment record from a book or record club

Another option is to get a relative or very close friend to add you as an authorized user on their credit account in good standing. This takes a while longer to establish a history, but it can be very effective. The account holder can either give you access to the account or not, but as long as that account is kept up to date, it will reflect on your future credit history.

If you have some credit history but not much (known as a "thin file"), you might benefit from a lender using a FICO Expansion score. Scaled like a regular FICO score (from 300 to 850), the formula is designed so that the lender can incorporate additional information that might not be in a traditional credit file. For an Expansion score, Fair Isaac will go to "boutique credit repositories" that may have data not traditionally reported (like the payment record from a book or record club), says Watts. The company might also look at how often you use checks or how often you have to access overdraft protection. In addition, if lenders can obtain additional information (like rental payment history or utility payment history), that can also be factored into the formula.

"It's going to help the people with no credit and it could also help the people with poor credit," Garkey says. Curtis Arnold, founder of, agrees. "I think it's a positive thing. With rental histories and power bills you've proven that you can pay your bills."

A relatively new addition to the credit-scoring universe is the VantageScore -- introduced as a joint effort by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion -- which rivals the FICO score but so far is being used by very few lenders. The VantageScore, which ranges from 500 to 990 and includes A to F ratings as well, is being promoted as paying particular attention to "thin" credit files.

People without credit are "a large segment of our society," says Arnold. "And the risk is that they are not being judged fairly."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails