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HARRISBURG, Pa. – There’s just something empowering about knowing what’s in your credit report. Everyone wants to know but some have no clue where to start. Visionary Systems, an automated credit and marketing decision firm, through its WorthKnowing subsidiary, is offering an online credit report tool to CUs that gives members the ability to see their credit report as well as offering CUs a pretty slick marketing tool. Last year Visionary Systems launched WorthKnowing.com which it was building as a consumer destination site. As the venture capital market went bad, the site was transformed to become more of a content/functionality site that can add stickiness to other providers’ Web sites. The site is a cross between a Lendingtree.com and a financial education site. The site is packed with general credit information and advice on how to improve credit. As for functionality, after pulling a credit report from TransUnion, it basically lets consumers know what lending opportunities they would qualify for using their financial clients’ lending criteria. It can then offer the consumer a firm pre-approval of credit. Pennsylvania State Employees’ CU, Harrisburg, Pa., which seems to show up in a lot of “firsts” in the tech realm, is the company’s first CU client. Interestingly, PSECU President/CEO Greg Smith called the company directly after scanning their site. Bill Zysk, vp of lending for PSECU, said the CU is rolling the product out in late November with the hopes of increasing its already lofty online lending numbers. About 42% of consumer lending and 70% of equity lending PSECU does, is done online. PSECU is going to have an icon on its home page (www.psecu.com) that advertises a chance for members to get a free credit report. Members will be authenticated by PSECU via PIN and account number, and then be taken to the WorthKnowing site and be authenticated again by WorthKnowing. The member can then have their credit report pulled and presented online. WorthKnowing also assigns members a 0-100 credit score. A score of 80 means that a member’s credit is in the 80th percentile, or better than 80% of the credit population. Why not present a FICO score, which is commonly used by lenders. “We asked ourselves what a FICO score of 680 is going to mean to someone who is not in the lending business. A normalized score would be easier to understand from a consumer’s perspective,” said Tim Bates, vice president of business development for Visionary Systems Zysk said there will be a lot going on behind the scenes to determine what kind of lending products PSECU will offer qualified members. “If people meet certain criteria we’ll go back and data mine for bankruptcy score, revenue score. We look at FICO. Were looking to pre-approve to offer firm credit offers,” said Zysk. Zysk said it’s very important for the CU to do its homework because it wants to offer firm credit, not a pre-qualification, where further research is still needed. “You’re basically going to them and interrupting them so you want to have taken that close look already,” said Zysk. Bates said a private label version of WorthKnowing will be available to all CUs in November, with PSECU being the first client. There is also some discussion of PSECU’s tech CUSO, eCU Technologies, becoming a reseller of the product, but those details haven’t been hammered out as of press time. Both Bates and Zysk noted that even if a member doesn’t qualify for a lending product from the CU, they can benefit by getting a chance to see their credit report, and learning how to improve it. [email protected]

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