Scoring the Conventionally Unscorable


Date: April 01, 2019

Criteria for conventional scoring models were established over 30 years ago, obviously reflecting data and methods of that time. Today, you wouldn’t use a payphone over a cell phone to make a phone call, would you? So why use an old scoring tool in modern times? Advanced technology and credit scoring methods have evolved over time, making it possible to score more people with more accuracy.

Using trended credit data allows more modern credit scoring models like VantageScore 4.0 to analyze credit behavior over time, providing deeper insights into borrowing and payment patterns. By leveraging machine learning, VantageScore 4.0 also has been able to strengthen its performance levels and provide it with the ability to score approximately 40 million more consumers than conventional models, without sacrificing predictability.

Let’s see what this breakdown of consumers looks like below.

Based on the U.S. Census, the aggregate U.S. population was 325 million people in 2018:


Of which, 252 million are credit-eligible, meaning they are 18 years old or older:

However, conventional scoring models can only score about 201 million consumers. Meaning 51 million consumers are currently unable to get a score from conventional models because they do not meet conventional scoring criteria (i.e., these consumers have not had an update or report on their credit files in the past 6 months and they do not have an account that is at least 6 months old):

Are you getting the picture? The universe of borrowers is getting smaller and smaller, especially when they are scored with credit scoring models that simply haven’t gotten with the times.

On the other hand, by using modern credit score modeling methods, VantageScore can accurately score 40 million more consumers, expanding the scoreable population of consumers to 241 million:

The point of this visual representation is to show potential lender portfolio gain when using the right credit scoring model (and loss when using the wrong one). If that didn’t sell you, let’s put it another way:

40 million consumers — who can be scored using more innovative scoring methodologies — is about the same amount of the entire population of California…the most populous and biggest state in the U.S. Is your business willing to give up that many people?

More Insights & Resources

See all the performance data and insights on VantageScore’s advantage in the credit card industry.

Next Arrow