FICO, the source of the FICO Credit Score and Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting agencies, have teamed up to produce a tool to help credit unions and other financial institutions better predict their members' economic behavior.
The tool, called the FICO Economic Impact Index will be available with only the Equifax BEACON 09 credit scores and will use economic forecast data provided by Moody Investor Services to predict how a credit score should be calibrated to reflect different economic situations. Thus an economic score of 700 might slide 27 points in the most dire circumstance in the broader economy, but only 13 points if the economic slide is followed by a sharp and speedy recovery.
"Lenders continue to evaluate the best means to manage their portfolios through difficult times" said Bobbie Britting, research director for consumer lending at TowerGroup, on the new service.
"Economic data has always been a consideration in the lending world, but today's informational needs are much more complicated. As consumer behavior changes and diverges, anticipating and understanding the underlying economic conditions has become much more important for lenders needing to maintain lending volumes on the front-end, as well as better serve their clients pre-delinquency or through the collections process,"she added.