Using big data & analytics to move beyond FICO and LTV for loan decisions

by: Paul Ablack

The FICO score has a long and well-established history as a key metric in the determination of credit-worthiness. The FICO score has the power to influence whether or not a person will be able to experience significant life events, like the purchase of their first car or their first home. However, as we rapidly enter the age of Big Data and Analytics, does the FICO score utilize enough information to make an accurate determination of a borrower’s ability to pay? As I consider the future of credit unions, I believe the industry’s position on the significance of the FICO score in their underwriting process is an important issue. Is FICO a major determining factor, or is it merely one of many data points that can be used to predict probability of default for a given loan?

The mission of the credit union movement is to improve the lives of their members. While this is a very altruistic and admirable goal, it is only possible if credit unions are able to effectively assess and manage their loan portfolio risk. At the end of the day, credit unions have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the assets entrusted to them by their members.

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