Foundations for Strong Families 201. Alternative Credit Scores

01/09/2009

For low- and moderate-income couples with bad credit or a lack of credit, alternative credit scores can provide a solution. Many people with low incomes use cash, write checks, or use debit cards instead of using credit, and therefore do not develop credit histories. The Fair Isaac Corporation, creators of the FICO score, introduced the FICO Expansion score to aid individuals without established credit histories. This method of credit scoring involves using utility payments, such as water and electricity, as a way to measure an individual’s ability to pay their debts. An Anthem score is another nontraditional credit score. Designed to assess the risk of potential borrowers with little or no traditional credit history, it incorporates additional indicators like rental history and utility payments into its model. Making use of alterative credit scores can give couples with low incomes improved access to credit based on their past success in making payments.

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