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New FICO program reveals credit score to risky borrowers

Idea comes from CFPB request

The credit score system operated by FICO (FICO) released its latest initiative geared to assist approximately 1 million consumers annually who are in need of more credit and financial guidance.

The predictive analytics company and decision management software company is expanding to provide FICO Scores to consumers though qualified non-profit credit counselors ad participating government entities.

In November of 2013, FICO launched its Score Open Access to enable Americas to regularly receive, at no cost, the actual FICO Scores purchases and used by lenders.    

The new program titled, FICO Score Open Access for Credit & Financial Counseling, was designed to aid consumers who have credit management problems by providing FICO Scores along with credit education material that helps consumers understand credit scoring and learn about responsible financial health management.

Meanwhile, Experian, agreed to allow qualified credit counselors to share Experian credit reports with their clients, providing important information to consumers who are struggling financially. 

"Because of FICO's longstanding commitment to consumer financial education, when the CFPB approached us about enabling credit and financial counselors to share FICO Scores they purchase with their clients, we recognized the importance of working with our data partners to make it happen,” said Jim Wehmann, FICO's executive vice president for Scores.

“The popular FICO Score Open Access program has now been extended to approximately one million people who seek assistance each year though these worthy organizations. We consider this a major milestone in our effort to ensure that all Americans have convenient and free access to their FICO Scores," added Wehmann.

Eligible credit and financial counseling organizations may participate in the new program in coordination with membership associations, including the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies and Credit Builders Alliance.

This is only the latest move from the credit agencies to expand credit options for borrowers. In April, FICO, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Equifax (EFX) released the official details to a new pilot program that could potentially open 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.

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