New programs aimed to provide more comprehensive information for credit scores

Answer Desk

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Coming soon is the biggest shift in decades in credit reporting and scoring.

Two of the companies that help determine a person’s cost to borrow money are adding new features. For decades, the number was based mostly on history with payments on things like credit cards and loans.

There are two new changes that can give people the opportunity to boost their credit score. The first change, “Experian Boost,” can potentially get a person a higher credit score based on internet, utility, and cable bill payment history. The second program, “Ultra-Fico,” focuses on your checking and savings accounts.

“It pulls that information out and analyzes and says, ‘Wow, you’ve done a good job of paying those bills. That means you’re probably a better credit risk than you might have otherwise looked,” said Matthew Schulz, who is a financial expert with CompareCards.com. 

This gives lenders a better idea of how people are managing their finances overall. It can help if a person has some savings, but are on the verge of getting denied. This is optional.

Privacy advocates say not everyone will want to hand this private information over to these companies, especially after the Equifax hack in 2017 exposed the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans.

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