New Credit Report Digs Deeper Into Payment History

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

The ranks of credit scoring tools that tap alternative consumer data is getting longer, with the introduction of CoreScore from Corelogic Credco. The report includes bill and rental payment data in addition to traditional credit tradelines. While the data and score promise to be able to handle thinner consumer files in addition to providing a broader range of behavioral data, concerns are being expressed that bill payments may not provide an accurate picture of the payment/non-payment context.

Attorney Chi Chi Wu with the National Consumer Law Center says the report includes everything from rental applications and evictions, pay day loans, auto title loans, rent-to-own transactions, and even payments to the electric company.

It’s all intended to give a lender a better idea of who is asking for money and the likelihood of it being paid back. So where do they get the information?

“From the public records system,” said John Ulzheimer from SmartCredit.com. “And traditionally credit reports only hold three types of public records- bankruptcy, tax liens and judgments.”

While the data should facilitate broader underwriting, bringing in new data also has potential risks.

But Wu sees it a little differently. She’s concerned people who had legitimate reasons for not paying certain bills will now be penalized.

“If there are mice running around, if you don’t have any hot water, you’re allowed to not pay your rent under some jurisdictions,” said Wu. “Is the new credit report going to reflect that?”

Mercator’s research confirms greater interest on the part of credit card issuers in alternative consumer data and scoring, with a goal of making better underwriting decisions and identifying the best risk consumers among those with thin files or damaged credit histories.

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