Recession-damaged small and mid-sized businesses would like to extend credit to customers with little if any credit history if they could do it without great risk. Now there’s a way. FICO — the company behind the ubiquitous FICO credit score we all know and love — has created a new FICO Expansion Score to help businesses evaluate the estimated 50-70 million U.S. consumers who have either no traditional credit history or thin credit bureau files at Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
This group of potential customers is heavy on students, senior citizens and recent immigrants, so the scoring model is based on non-traditional credit data such as subscription memberships, bank deposit account activity and utility histories. The resulting scores use the same 300-850 scoring range as the traditional FICO and can also be used in combination with the traditional score when making credit decisions. The new scoring system can help identify responsible, credit-worthy customers who can meet their obligations but simply haven’t had an opportunity to establish a traditional credit history.
MicroBilt Corp., which provides risk manaement services to small and mid-sized businesses, has an exclusive license to use the FICO scoring model in the U.S. and sell FICO Expansion scores to lenders and businesses. MicroBuilt has direct links to the three major credit bureaus, which means businesses checking customer credit can get both the traditional FICO score and the FICO Expansion score from a single source. For more information on obtaining a FICO Expansion score you can fill out a MicroBuilt inquiry form or call 800-884-4397.
According to its creators, the FICO Expansion score accurately predicts the likelihood that a consumer will become seriously delinquent within the next two years, using the same caliber of highly predictive, objective risk evaluation that other FICO scores are known for.