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Reaching for your #Goals

Date: September 15, 2020

It is a simple question from a consumer’s standpoint: How can I improve my score over a relatively short period of time?

I’ve been on the other end of that question, and my response was often, “well it depends.” This is a true statement because the extent to which you can improve your credit score is based on your credit history. But that answer understandably is frustrating for consumers.

We think about this a lot at VantageScore. Last year we worked on an analytically-driven explanation to this question. We looked at various consumer profiles and examined how each particular profile typically and actually did, in fact, increase their credit scores over time.

We put that information into a data base, and we’re extremely pleased to see that information powering a new tool launched by American Express as part of its “MyCredit Guide” solution. To quote American Express, “we believe everyone should know their credit score and have the tools to understand it better.”

I couldn’t agree more!

That’s why I am so thrilled that American Express recently launched “Score Goals”, which leverages our scoring model and analytics to directionally help consumers estimate how long it may take to achieve certain credit score milestones. Included in this newsletter is a deeper dive.

It is important to frame tools like this properly. To my earlier point, everyone’s credit history is different and what might work for one consumer, may not necessarily have the same impact for another. Because no two consumers have identical historical credit data captured in their credit reports, it is a challenge to provide specific recommendations without looking at the actual report. However, there are patterns for consumers having similar credit histories, and that is what these tools are designed to tap into and accomplish. Credit scores are the result of consumers credit habits, and these tools are developed to educate consumers about exercising prudent credit behaviors.

For those with significant credit health challenges, we encourage the use of these tools and to seek credit counseling for more of a hands-on experience.

Credit education has always and will continue to be a focus of ours and our partners in a significant way; especially as we all face continued economic pressure. For some, the damage is severe and a low credit score is low on the list of priorities. For others, a single delinquency might be the difference between qualifying for a mortgage loan and being declined. Tools like American Express’ “Score Goals” can be an important part of the recovery process when used in conjunction with other credit education and continued monitoring of one’s credit score and credit reports.

This month’s newsletter has other educational articles including an interview with Ken McEldowney. Ken is executive director at Consumer Action, one of the nation’s most prominent consumer advocacy organizations. Ken and his views on consumer protection, command the attention of many policy influencers, so we’re thrilled he has taken to the time to answer our questions.

Stay safe and healthy!

Barrett Burns

CEO and President, VantageScore Solutions