Fair Isaac Corp., the creator of the ubiquitous FICO credit scores, wants the next generation of scores to not only reflect a record of how well or poorly consumers have paid their debts in the past but also to predict how they are likely to react to future economic events.

To help accomplish this, Fair Isaac has rolled out something it has called the FICO Economic Impact Service, a product that company executives have explained will allow them to "nuance" or "shade" credit scores and allow lenders to make more targeted underwriting decisions.

"Banks are experiencing tremendous pressure to balance demands for growth and profitability with the imperative to manage risk," said Andrew Jennings, chief research officer at FICO. "Changes in unemployment rates, interest rates and other economic indicators often anticipate important marketplace movements. It can be extraordinarily difficult for even large lenders to objectively assess such external risks and adapt their credit decision systems quickly enough to be effective. That's why we've developed this new way to enhance traditional risk scores and significantly strengthen lenders' abilities to manage risk and boost profitability in dynamic economic environments."

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