Plastic-Shy U.S. Young Spur Move to New Credit Data
Comment of the Day

March 18 2013

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Plastic-Shy U.S. Young Spur Move to New Credit Data

This article by Jeanna Smialek for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section
“You don't have a credit history and they consider that a bad thing,” said Frohne. While no landlords who turned him away cited his thin credit file, Frohne said several “seemed to frown on it. It's always a bump in the road.”

Now, the recovering economy has rekindled interest in capturing previously unreported data to allow credit bureaus and lenders to create more complete consumer credit profiles, even for those who don't borrow.

“There will definitely be more economic activity,” Turner said. “Those same people who aren't using credit cards or auto loans or mortgage loans are paying cable or broadband.” Data on energy and telecommunications payments can make good gauges of creditworthiness and could allow banks to extend more, safer loans, according to a December 2006 Brookings Institution report by Turner, Schnare and three other researchers.

It's unclear what information can be turned over and collected under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Turner said. Beyond that, data such as rental payment histories is tough to collect, because it requires the cooperation of large numbers of billers.

Eoin Treacy's view While banks have been slow to extend credit to consumers because of a new found respect for due diligence, consumers have been deleveraging and paying off debt rather than increasing their burdens. This has created a valuable niche for companies that can help creditors to assess the suitability of borrowers over a number of different criteria. It also opens the possibility of creating new financial products for a new type of consumer.

UK listed Experian is globally present with the USA accounts for half its revenues. The share has paused between 1150p and 1200p over the last month and a sustained move below the 200-day MA would be required to question the consistency of the medium-term uptrend.

Equifax posted a large downside weekly key reversal in February and has returned to range above the 200-day MA. A sustained move below $51.50 would be required to question medium-term scope for additional higher to lateral ranging.

Transunion, the third largest credit scoring company is still privately held although it is “pending listing” according to Bloomberg.

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