• Action News Jax Investigates: New credit assessment programs could boost your score

    By: Tenikka Smith Hughes , Action News Jax


    A shift in spending habits in the last decade has led to a different approach in determining credit worthiness. Action News Jax talked to an expert about the new tools rolling out this year that could impact your credit score. 

    With the new UltraFICO scoring system, you agree to allow lenders to consider what’s in your checking and savings accounts and how you pay bills.

    The UltraFICO website says seven out 10 people with an average of $400 in savings and no negative balances in the past three months see their credit score increase.  

    University of North Florida junior Nehu Bain says it may be tough for young people to keep $400 in their accounts and she's also not sure about allowing access to her banking information. 

    Bain said: “That makes me a little iffy about doing something like that. I personally don't think I’d do something like that because of confidentiality.” 

    With the new Experian Boost program, you can allow the company to access your online banking info to see your history of paying utility and cellphone bills.  Experian says a good history can mean a boost in your credit score. The company says it could help people with poor or limited credit history.  

    Transunion has introduced Creditvision Link Short-Term Risk Score.  It uses data already available to combine your long- and short-term credit history, plus banking info, to help determine your credit score and your risk of defaulting. 

    Vystar Credit Union chief lending officer Jenny Vipperman said the new credit assessment programs are the result of the last recession which she said impacted the way millennials spend money.

    “I think a lot of young people in their 20s and 30s today who are at prime age to borrow grew up and watched the economy collapse around them.” Vipperman said. “They watched their parents or friends parents lose homes, lose cars and a lot of that was attributed to credit so many of them grew up learning I’m not going to spend more than I have.”    

    Jose Lopez lives by that rule.  He said, “I have two children. I work within my means. If I don't have it, I try not to spend. I use a credit card if I have to, but I don't even keep it in my wallet. I try not to spend.”

    Vipperman said while lenders are getting creative in helping people build credit, the end goal should always be to make sure they can manage their debt responsibly.  

    “How can we assess what you're able to borrow, what you can afford to borrow andcnot give you too much because we don't want to get consumers in trouble,” she said.

    Vipperman said it is important to keep in mind different lenders use different credit scores. 

    For more information on UltraFICO.

    For more information on Creditvision.

    For more information on Experian Boost.


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