New FICO Model Is Great if You Manage Money Well but Don’t Have Much Credit
Your credit score could get a makeover next year.
This week, FICO announced it will roll out a new credit score calculation system called UltraFICO. This scoring system will look at typical factors that go into a credit score, including payment history and credit utilization, but it will also factor in data from your checking and savings accounts that reflect your overall financial responsibility.
UltraFICO is an opt-in system, so consumers can choose what financial information to share beyond their standard credit history.
“Consumers who are relatively new to credit with limited history or those with previous financial distress that are getting back on their feet stand to benefit the most,” the company said in a statement. FICO’s new scoring program is a collaboration with credit bureau Experian and financial data firm Finicity.
A pilot program for UltraFICO is expected to launch in early 2019. If you’re interested in participating, you can request more information as it becomes available via the UltraFICO site (scroll down to the bottom to enter your contact information).
UltraFICO Scoring Features Will Be Cool, Eventually
Thanks to online tools, it’s easier than ever to access your credit score. But for many, evaluating their creditworthiness is still a mystery. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimated in 2015 that 1 in 10 adults in the United States were “credit invisible,” meaning they didn’t have enough of a credit history to have a score.
A more robust scoring system would reduce pressure to use credit products to build a financial profile.
But don’t expect this new system to spread quickly.
VantageScore, another credit-scoring formula, rolled out VantageScore 4.0 in the fall of 2017. The system featured leniency for items like parking tickets and new medical bills, and it offered greater protections for victims of fraud. VantageScore 4.0 claimed it would focus on a person’s credit trends, rather than providing a snapshot.
But more than a year after that rollout, many online free credit score providers like Credit Karma, Credit Sesame and Wallethub still use VantageScore 3.0.
Lisa Rowan is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.