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Score Tweakers

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Consumers who try to artificially boost their credit scores to gain access to a loan or favorable terms they otherwise would not qualify for are on the radar screen. The practice of buying “authorized user” status to manipulate credit scores has not been legally tested but the providers of credit scoring services are wasting no time to minimize its impact. Fair Isaac is adjusting its “FICO” scoring formula to remove “authorized user” accounts from consideration. Fair Isaac says the action is intended to protect lenders and “FICO” scores from abuse of authorized user credit card accounts by a new kind of credit repair service that sells consumer credit card histories to credit applicants in order to purposefully misrepresent the applicants’ own credit history to lenders and other businesses. This week, Atlanta-based Equifax says that its “VantageScore” and the “Equifax Risk Score 3.0” have never been impacted by “authorized user” manipulation. “Authorized user” information is also excluded in calculating both “VantageScore” and the “Equifax Risk Score 3.0.” The consumer credit monitoring behemoth says it believes it is misleading to embellish one’s credit history in order to obtain financing.

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