You know how important your credit score is. What you may not know is that new tools have been made available that are designed to enhance your score and improve your ability to qualify for loans. That’s, no doubt, welcome relief for those with so-so numbers. But don’t start celebrating just yet. Here’s why.
What you need to know
Traditionally, FICO credit scores are calculated using factors from your credit report: payment history, amounts owed, length of your credit history, types of credit and opening new credit accounts. In new models like Experian Boost and UltraFICO, income, bank account balances and other payments are new options to add additional data to your credit report.
“Only positive information will be added to your credit score. You can change your reporting status to remove your utility or cellphone bills at any point,” says Leslie Tayne, a debt resolution attorney with the Tayne Law Group in Melville.
The UltraFICO credit score measures how you manage your money overall. Like Boost, you opt in to participate. UltraFICO measures your bank account activity, including your balance, how many transactions you make and whether you have savings. “If you pad your savings and don’t overdraw your account, that good behavior will be rewarded with a better score,” says Tayne.
Sounds good, but …
What about privacy and security concerns? You’re giving the credit bureaus bank account and other important information.
Then too, “there’s no guarantee your score will increase. If a lender is pulling your credit from either of the other credit bureaus, having an Experian Boost credit score won’t help,” says Tayne.
The bottom line
Says James Garvey, CEO of Selflender.com, “Build your credit the old-fashioned way: Get credit, use it responsibly and pay your bills on time.”