Oct. 23, 2018
Your credit score is about to change.
Starting in early 2019, Fair Isaac’s FICO credit score will use far more information about your financial picture than it has for the last two decades. Instead of relying solely on your payment history to determine your credit score, Fair Isaac will incorporate how well you manage your cash in checking, savings, and money market account. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported on the scoring system.
The new system is called the UltraFICO and was developed to help banks approve more loans, according to the Journal report. While standard FICO scores based on payment history will still be the default method for determining your creditworthiness, if those scores are low, banks can opt for the UltraFICO instead.
In those cases, credit-reporting agencies will examine your bank accounts to see how well you manage your money. As long as you don’t have overdrawn accounts and seem to manage your money well, your UltraFICO score will be higher. That should ultimately result in more loan approvals, according to the Journal. If you have poor cash management, however, your UltraFICO score could be lower.
The move comes as banks are increasingly finding that they need to expand their pool of borrowers to include those with little to no credit history or people who have a spotty repayment history but still have the cash to afford a loan. It also suggests that banks are willing to take on more risk than they have in the last decade since the financial crash.
Once UltraFICO goes live, banks will need to sign on to start using the service. Banks are not required to use UltraFICO as a scoring mechanism.