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Here’s something worth monitoring. Three major players in the credit space have introduced new scoring tools to help boost consumer credit scores.

FICO’s “UltraFICO Score”

How it works:

  • Under the UltraFICO scoring system, you get the chance to shine if you have a good track record with your checking, savings and money market accounts — items that are not visible on a traditional credit report.
  • Specifically, you get brownie points based on (1) length of time your accounts have been open; (2) recency and frequency of your bank transactions; (3) evidence of consistent cash on hand; and (4) history of positive account balances.

How do I get an UltraFICO score?

  • You choose to “opt in” to receive an UltraFICO score by agreeing to link your checking, savings and/or money market accounts through a secure online portal.
  • The information you provide about your banking activity does not become a part of your credit report and your UltraFICO score does not replace your traditional FICO score.
  • An UltraFICO score is instantly generated.
  • Note: As of now the UltraFICO score is still in its pilot program and is not available yet. Visit FICO’s official website here for more information.

Experian’s “Boost”

How it works:

  • While FICO’s “UltraFICO” system takes into consideration banking activity, Experian’s “Boost” system factors in another type of behavior that is not reflected on traditional credit reports — utility and phone bill payment history.
  • In other words, you have the chance to shine if you have a good track record for timely paying your utility, phone, and cable TV bills.

How do I get a Boost score?

  • You choose to “opt in” to receive a Boost score by agreeing to connect the bank account(s) you use to pay your bills, and by choosing and verifying the positive payment history you want added to your credit file.
  • A Boost score is instantly generated.
  • To sign up for a Boost score, visit Experian’s official website here.

CreditXpert’s “Wayfinder”

How it works:

  • CreditXpert’s Wayfinder (unlike Fico’s UltraFICO score and Experian’s Boost score) does not provide a way to instantaneously provide a boosted credit score based on past, existing activity.
  • By contrast, Wayfinder generates a custom plan to help you achieve your target credit score over time. For example, if you have a 660 score, and you have a target score of 690 (in order to get a lower interest rate on a home mortgage), Wayfinder’s algorithm will provide a step-by-step credit improvement plan to achieve the 690 score. Sample steps include paying down a certain number of accounts or canceling specific accounts.
  • According to Wayfinder, customers are able to improve their credit scores by an average of 27 points.

How do I get a Wayfinder step-by-step plan?

  • The Wayfinder software is available to loan officers, so check with your lender or mortgage broker to see if they can offer you this solution. (CreditXpert is a financial-technology company whose products are widely used by lending officials in the mortgage world.)
  • For more information, visit CreditXpert’s official website here and talk to your mortgage broker or loan officer about any associated costs with using Wayfinder.

Which of the 3 tools is most helpful in the home mortgage context?

FICO’s UltraFICO score and Experian’s Boost score may be helpful if you are applying for credit cards or auto loans, but (at least for now), not for applying for home mortgages. As of now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s underwriting systems do not permit either UltraFICO or Boost scores.

However, CreditXpert’s Wayfinder tool is specifically designed for the mortgage market. The higher scores it leads to are acceptable for purposes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s scoring models.

David A. Krebs is a licensed mortgage broker offering commercial and residential loan programs beyond your regular bank. Call us at 321-239-2781, click here to submit a message, or click here to book a free consultation.