What to Know About the UltraFICO Score - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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What to Know About the UltraFICO Score

The UltraFICO system will base its score on how people use traditional checking and savings accounts

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    What to Know About the UltraFICO Score

    Getting that first credit card can be a real challenge. That's because banks are often reluctant to give credit to a person with no credit history. But Consumer Reports says a new type of credit scoring system called UltraFICO may help those just starting out get their first critical credit card. (Published Tuesday, March 12, 2019)

    It's part of being an adult, using a credit card to make purchases or go out to dinner.

    Jake Weintraub, 18, said having a credit card was also important to establish a credit history, so that one day he could eventually rent or buy a home and a car.

    But so far, his applications for a credit card have gone nowhere.

    "Getting rejected from credit cards is definitely a little bit frustrating, especially considering that there's nothing else I can do about it," Weintraub said.

    To get a credit card, you need a credit score. The main scoring system banks use, FICO, bases its score on how well a person has handled loans in the past.

    But what if, like Weintraub, you've never taken out a loan? A new type of scoring system called UltraFICO will debut this summer and it won't depend on loan history.

    "The UltraFICO system is going to base its score on how people use traditional savings and checking accounts. Those kinds of accounts are very easy to set-up with just a cash deposit. So those kinds of accounts can be a good choice for somebody with a weak credit history, or no credit history, to build up their credit," financial expert Tobie Stanger said.

    But, Consumer Reports cautions that you will have to opt in and then share confidential information about your banking accounts, such as how often you withdraw and deposit. And it is still an open question as to whether lenders are ready to buy into the UltraFICO score.

    "We have another concern, and that is that making credit easier to get may cause some people to get in over their heads. And then they may not be able to pay back their debt," Stanger explained.

    Weintraub does have a checking and savings account, and is careful with his money. Heading back to college, he said he just wants a chance to show he can handle credit responsibly.

    But Consumer Reports said the UltraFICO scoring system isn't necessary for people who already have good credit and well-established credit histories. Those people should stick to the traditional FICO scoring system.

    For more information, click here.