9 CREDIT SCORES YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED
You already know about your credit risk score, more commonly known as your FICO Credit Score. That is the one we normally think of when we talk about credit scoring but are your aware that you are being analyzed based on other lifestyle choices and these Nine other types of Consumer Scores that are relatively unknown — that affect you tremendously:
Revenue Score – This score measures how much money you are likely to make the creditor. This is measured by rank-ordering your revolving credit accounts by how much of a revenue source you might be in the future.
Bankruptcy Score – Predicts if you are likely to declare bankruptcy. It looks at data such as how many high-balance and delinquent accounts you have. Creditors know that anyone who has a high number of late payments or maxed-out accounts is headed for trouble.
Response Score – You know all those “pre-approved” offers you get in the mail? Someone is tallying the number you throw away. The more offers you accept, the higher your response score.
Attrition Score – This score addresses the likelihood that you may leave one lender for another. If your score is high enough, you will get convenience checks in the mail; or even a personal phone call from the creditor, offering you incentives to stay with them.
Behavior Score – This very specific score measures your overall performance with one creditor. Information includes how long you have had the account, how often you use it, how much you purchase, etc. Creditors study your buying and payment patterns as a way of predicting your future behavior.
Application Score – When you fill out a credit application, you divulge such information as your job title, length of employment, if you have a checking or savings account, etc. This set of data rarely finds its way onto your standard credit report; instead, it lands here. Creditors are eager to know if you have stable bank accounts and higher-paying, long-term employment, which tell a lender you are a better risk.
Collection Score – Gauges the likelihood that collections can be made from you, should you default on a loan: It measures the probability of an early-stage collection account (<90 days) becoming a late-stage delinquency (>90days) or complete loss. This score helps creditors decide if they should charge off your account and hand it over to a collection agency.
Recovery Score – This score measures the probability of a late-stage account (>90days) paying off the delinquent balance. Collection agencies (as well as other creditors) use this number to decide how much of their time and resources to devote to recovering a bad debt — the higher the score, the more likely they believe you will pay up.
Transaction Score – Also called the “Fraud Score,” this score measures how often you use credit, and protects you and the creditor against fraudulent use. If you have ever attempted to use a credit card you knew was good, but were rejected when you tried to use it, that was most likely due to your transaction score. Perhaps you seldom use the card; in this case, the card issuer wants to verify it is you are making the purchase — your transaction score alerts them to follow up in confirming your identity.
So, the advice of the day, before you shop for items purchased on credit try to learn how to become a well-informed prosumer with the going interest rates, how to shop, when to shop, where to shop and most importantly buying your items based on price vs. payment. If you can start to learn these behaviors sooner than later, they will become great lifestyle choices and good habits.
Final point: all the 9 Scores listed here are used internally by creditors — this information is generally not available to the public. However, just knowing they exist (and what part of your creditworthiness they measure) can be vital in understanding why creditors do what they do.
Now that you have gained a deeper appreciation of just how much creditors know about you and your spending habits. Beware! When it comes to your financial behavior, someone is always watching and turning it into a score. Unfortunately, until more consumers are aware of this information then consumers will always pay the price with riskier credit scores.