Credit Bureaus Try to Make It Easier to Get a Credit Score
If you’re tired of living without credit, a few trends might work in your favor. Credit bureaus and scoring agencies have begun to include alternative data, such as your history of paying rent or cellphone bills on time, in credit reports and scoring models. In this case, “alternative data” means expanding beyond your borrowing track record as their source of credit information. And some have also been implementing new technologies that they say can score more people.
For example, Fair Isaac, provider of the FICO scoring model, has an UltraFICO® score that it says could rate over 15 million Americans who don’t have enough credit history to be scored under its traditional model. Qualifications include recent and frequent bank transactions and a history of positive bank balances.6 Experian, one of the major credit bureaus, has been incorporating bill-paying habits for video streaming, phone, and utilities in a service called Experian Boost®, which it says helps people with thin credit files.7
Meanwhile, another credit score, VantageScore®, said the most recent version of its model scores 33 million more consumers than other conventional credit scoring models. It uses rent payments, utilities, store credit cards and other means to help people establish new credit files.8