There is a lot of buzz in the credit score world regarding the UltraFICO Score. What exactly is the UltraFico Score? Will it help or hurt my credit score? How does it work? These are just a few questions people are asking, so I’ll do my best to answer them.
What Is The UltraFICO Score?
The UltraFico Score is a new score modeling created by the Fair, Isaac, and Company (FICO) designed to help increase credit acceptance rates. Applicants will have the option to enable it while going through the financing application process.
The model access your bank account data (transactions, balances, deposits) and runs through an algorithm that will determine if your score will increase. So the more money you have coming in and staying in your bank account, you’ll get a bigger boost in your credit score. FICO will not give away this data to lenders, only use it for their scoring model.
The model has been in a testing phase with a small group of lenders, for some time now. From these test, FICO received reports that 7 out of 10 applicants that have at least $400 in their bank account, see a boost in their score.
Who Will Use The UltraFICO Score?
Ideally, people who currently have a poor credit score and/or low credit history. Which consist of most young adults in 18-24 year old demographic, including myself. Anybody with excellent credit and a long history will not be affected by this new model.
When Is UltraFICO Happening?
The UltraFico will be publicly rolling out in early 2019. I plan to try it out once it is available to me so that I can refinance my $40,000 first car. Even though I already have good credit, my credit history is still low. History is a big factor that is considered when getting a loan or refinancing, at a good rate.
How Are Deposit Accounts Related To Credit?
This new UltraFICO score will take into consideration deposit accounts, like savings accounts, checking accounts, and money markets. On top of looking at on-time payments, this new score will also look at:
- Checking balance
- Length of checking history
- Transaction frequency
- Overdraw history
Basically, if an applicant’s FICO score falls short, the UltraFICO score can be considered. The lender can offer to recalculate the application to include banking activity, including the factor listed above.
So if the applicant has several hundred dollars in their accounts, have had deposit accounts for a long time, have frequent transactions, and don’t often overdraw will, like we mentioned earlier, will have a better chance at getting approved.
“Consumers with an average balance of at least $400 who haven’t overdrawn in the prior three months would likely get a boost,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Credit expert John Ulzheimer sees both the good and bad with this new score, but ultimately is interested to see how the market reacts.
“It almost seems like this allows the really big, kind of ‘dinosauric’ lenders to compete with the more nimble online lenders that rely less on traditional credit report information and more so on cash-flow metrics,” Ulzheimer said.
This new scoring system should allow people who were previously denied a loan to have a better shot at getting financing in the future. But even though it can help people with poor credit, it will require applicants to release more personal data. And we’ll just have to hope that extra personal data will stay protected.
UltraFICO vs FICO XD
As if there were enough credit scoring systems, there’s also something called FICO XD. This is geared toward people who don’t have traditional credit (like loans). FICO XD will look at things like your payment history for your TV or cable, utilities, and wireless phone.
This allows fiscally responsible people who don’t have a “regular” credit history to still get approved for a loan.
The big difference between FICO XD and UltraFICO is that the latter requires that you have a deposit account while the former does not. Also, UltraFICO is meant for broader use (not just loans, but credit cards too).
Is The UltraFICO Score Good For You?
Although it seems like great news for those with poor credit, there are some downsides to the UltraFICO score.
First, is it really good for someone with bad credit to go further into debt? Most likely not. And the UltraFICO score makes it easier for lenders to lend money to those types of people.
And because it’s easier for lenders to find a reason to approve an application, they’re able to potentially make a lot of money. So banks would be making bank while people who have trouble keeping up with their current debt go further into debt.
This also may not be good for the economy. Think about it — lenders may end up loaning more money to more people who aren’t able to repay the debt. That sounds a little bit too much like 2008.
Also, there are the added security measures that need to take place now that people with poor credit will be releasing even more personal information to third parties.
On the other hand, if debt is the last resort for someone who has a plan to use a loan or credit card to get back on their feet, the UltraFICO could help.
What do you think of the new UltraFICO Score? Do you plan on using it?
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