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What is UltraFICO & What Can It Do For You?



I’ve said it before… I love being the bearer of good news. And today I think you’re really going to love what has just become available, and it will make home buyers happy, too.


Cashing in on the rewards potential of low mortgage rates relies on one key component: your client’s credit score. As we know, there are different kinds of credit scores, and each credit reporting agency has different information about someone’s credit history. However, the most recognized score in the credit world is arguably the FICO score.


According to FICO, 90% of the top lenders rely on an applicant’s FICO score to make decisions about an individual’s credit risk. Today, the company unveiled a new kind of numerical system. It’s a partnership with Experian and Finicity, and it’s called the UltraFICO Score. Jim Wehman, executive vice president of scores at FICO, believes it is a “game changer.”


What’s so unique about the UltraFICO Score? The traditional score is calculated using five pieces of information: payment history, the amount currently owed to lenders, the length of the credit history, the types of credit used, and how much new credit currently being used.


With the new score, lenders will be able to look at other information from checking and savings accounts to understand a person’s approach to managing money. How long have those accounts been open? Is the checking account drained to zero prior to payday? Is the savings account growing? Does the person have recurring monthly deposits to their savings account? The thinking is simple: If a client doing a good job with their cash, they’ll probably do a good job with credit, too.


“It empowers consumers to have greater control over the information that is being used in making credit risk decisions,” Wehman said. “It also enables a deeper dialogue between the consumer and lenders to help both parties make better financial decisions.”


Who will benefit from the new score? FICO claims that seven out of 10 (!!!) Americans who display good behavior with their bank accounts could see higher figures with the new score. The announcement indicates that the new score will be “particularly relevant for those who fall in the grey area in terms of credit scores (scores in the upper 500s to lower 600s) or fall just below a lender’s score cutoff.”


Experian’s website states that “approximately 27 percent of consumers with a credit score between 580 to 669 are likely to become seriously delinquent in the future.” Now, this doesn’t mean that anyone with a less-than-ideal credit score shouldn’t be approved for a loan. But UltraFICO just might help people get into homes faster.