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How Credit Scoring Helps You


Credit scores give lenders a fast, objective measurement of your credit risk. Before the use of scoring, the credit granting process could be slow, inconsistent and unfairly biased.




two women drinking coffeeCredit scores have made big improvements in the credit process. Because of credit scores:

Loans are approved faster. Scores can be delivered almost instantaneously, helping lenders speed up loan approvals. Today many credit decisions can be made within minutes. Even a mortgage application can be approved in hours instead of weeks for borrowers who score above a lender’s “score cutoff.” Scoring also allows retail stores, Internet sites and other lenders to make “instant credit” decisions.

Credit decisions are fairer. Using credit scoring, lenders can focus only on the facts related to credit risk, rather than their personal feelings. Factors like your gender, race, religion, nationality and marital status are not considered by credit scoring.

Credit “mistakes” count for less. If you have had poor credit performance in the past, credit scoring does not let that haunt you forever. Past credit problems fade as time passes and as recent good payment patterns show up on your credit report. Unlike so-called “knock out rules” that turn down borrowers based solely on a past problem in their file, credit scoring weighs all of the credit-related information, both good and bad, in your credit report.

More credit is available. Lenders who use credit scoring can approve more loans, because credit scoring gives them more precise information on which to base credit decisions. It allows lenders to identify individuals who are likely to perform well in the future, even though their credit report shows past problems. Even those whose scores are lower than a lender’s cutoff for “automatic approval” benefit from scoring. Many lenders offer a choice of credit products geared to different risk levels. Most have their own separate guidelines, so if you are turned down by one lender, another may approve your loan. Credit scoring gives lenders confidence to offer credit to more people because credit scores help them to calculate the risk they are taking on.

Credit rates are lower overall. With more credit available, the cost of credit for borrowers decreases. Automated credit processes, including credit scoring, make the credit granting process more efficient and less costly for lenders, who in turn have passed savings onto their customers. And by controlling credit losses using scoring, lenders can make rates lower overall. Mortgage rates are lower in the U.S. than in Europe, for example, in part because of the information - including credit scores - available to lenders. Knowing and improving your score can help you gain access to more favorable interest rates.

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