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Credit score

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A credit score is a numerical expression based on a statistical analysis of a person's credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of that person, which is the likelihood that the person will pay his or her debts. A credit score is primarily based on credit report information, typically sourced from credit bureaus / credit reference agencies.

Lenders, such as banks and credit card companies, use credit scores to evaluate the potential risk posed by lending money to consumers and to mitigate losses due to bad debt. Lenders use credit scores to determine who qualifies for a loan, at what interest rate, and what credit limits. The use of credit or identity scoring prior to authorizing access or granting credit is an implementation of a trusted system.

Credit scoring is not limited to banks. Other organizations, such as mobile phone companies, government departments, employ the same techniques. Credit scoring also has a lot of overlap with data mining, which uses many similar techniques.

[edit] United Kingdom

In the U.K. there is much academic research into credit scoring. Experts from banks, academia and government agencies gather bi-annually at the "Credit Scoring & Credit Control" conference in Edinburgh.

The most popular statistical technique used is logistic regression to predict a binary outcome such as bad debt or no bad debt. Some banks also build regression models that predict the amount of bad debt a customer may incur. Typically this is much harder to predict and most banks focus only on the binary outcome.

Credit scoring is closely regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

It is very difficult for a consumer to know in advance if he or she will have a high enough credit score to be accepted for credit with a particular lender. This is due to the complexity and structure of credit scoring which differs from one lender to another.

Also, lenders do not have to reveal their credit scoring methods, nor do they have to reveal the minimum credit score required for the applicant to be accepted. Simply due to this lack of information to the consumer, it is impossible for he or she to know in advance if they will pass a lenders credit scoring requirements.

If the applicant is declined for credit, the lender is also not obliged to reveal the exact reason why.

[edit] United States of America

In the United States, a credit score is a number typically between 300 and 850, based on a statistical analysis of a person's credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of that person, which is the likelihood that the person will pay his or her bills. A credit score is primarily based on credit report information, typically from the three major credit bureaus.

[edit] See also

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