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Pandora's Box

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Consumers will soon get a peek at their credit scores as well as info on understanding what goes into rating their credit history. California-based Fair, Isaac decided last week to make a clear and comprehensive list of the factors used in its FICO® credit bureau risk scores to consumer. The company revealed it is developing a Web-based service that will explain individual FICO® scores. Each FICO® score is delivered with up to four reason codes, which lenders use to help consumers who were denied credit understand how to improve their credit rating. However, this is the first time that a comprehensive, easy-to-understand list of all of the factors that go into FICO® scores has been made widely available to the public. Fair, Isaac is also making available descriptions of the score factors and an explanation of how the FICO® score evaluates credit history. The company also said it is currently in discussions with all three of the national credit reporting agencies in the U.S. about changing contract agreements that may prevent lenders from disclosing scores to borrowers. The credit score factors can be found at www.fairisaac.com, and the score explanation service is expected to be live next month.

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