Millions of previously “unscoreable” consumers are finally able to receive credit scores thanks to recent advances in alternative data and credit scoring methods, an article from the Urban Institute said. The article covered a recent panel discussion hosted by the Housing Finance Policy Center, where three experts discussed the benefits and challenges of alternative credit scoring.

Here are six facts that emerged from the discussion about alternative credit scores: This is a sneak peak of the first one. Click through to see the next five.

1. Alternative scoring could generative scores 40 million previously unscored consumers.

According to Sarah Davies, senior vice president of analytics and research at VantageScore Solutions, up to 47 million US consumers have “thin credit files.” This means their credit profiles don’t have enough recent activity or history of loan repayment to meet the requirements of traditional scoring models. However by employing alternative segmentation and scoring techniques, as many as 40 million of these 47 million previously unscoreable consumers can now be scored.

At the beginning of April, FICO (FICO), LexisNexis Risk Solutionsand Equifax (EFX) released the official details to the new pilot program that was first reported on Wednesday, potentially opening the door to help millions of borrowers secure financing for a home.

The three firms are working together to create a pilot program that will allow 12 of the largest credit card issuers in the U.S. to use alternative data to identify creditworthy individuals who would otherwise be unlikely to obtain traditional credit.

“Working with Equifax and LexisNexis, we set out to help unbanked, under-banked and disadvantaged people gain equal access to the standard credit products enjoyed by millions of Americans,” said Jim Wehmann, FICO’s executive vice president for Scores.