Getting a Loan Could Get Easier

UltraFICO will benefit young people and retirees with limited credit history.

We asked Gerri Detweiler, a credit expert and education director at Nav, a small-business financial management platform, about UltraFICO and consumer credit.

FICO recently announced a new credit score called Ultra­FICO. How is it different from the traditional FICO score? Traditional credit scores rely primarily on information from the credit bureaus. UltraFICO also looks at how you handle your banking accounts. Consumers who have a monthly balance of $400 or more in their checking or savings account for the previous three months and have no bounced checks or overdrafts could use their UltraFICO score to boost their traditional score. A consumer gets to choose the bank account to be scored. Presumably, you would use your primary account. It could help people who don’t have much of a credit history, such as younger adults and immigrants.

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Rivan V. Stinson
Ex-staff writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Rivan joined Kiplinger on Leap Day 2016 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. A Michigan native, she graduated from the University of Michigan in 2014 and from there freelanced as a local copy editor and proofreader, and served as a research assistant to a local Detroit journalist. Her work has been featured in the Ann Arbor Observer and Sage Business Researcher. She is currently assistant editor, personal finance at The Washington Post.