A Score to Settle
U.S. Banker (08/00) Vol. 110, No. 8 p.34; Angell, Brian

Trans Union, Experian, Equifax, and Fair, Isaac & Co., the major players in the credit reporting industry, all rate consumers using FICO scores, which are the major decision-making factor in most credit decisions. Now, the industry is searching for a way to turn a profit on the public demand for access to credit scores. In February, E-Loan Inc. launched its "My E-Loan" service, which enabled consumers to view their credit ratings free of charge, and the site got over 25,000 hits in one month. Equifax, which supplied the data to E-Loan, forced the Web site to be shut down under orders from Fair Isaac, which owns the rights to the FICO rating formula. Fair Isaac is currently trying to set up a site like E-Loan but charge a fee for access to the rating, as well as personalized assistance in understanding the scores. Fair Isaac's attempts have been hampered by credit bureaus that are refusing to release the data needed for the rating. Trans Union and Fannie Mae have both begun to develop their own credit scoring systems, but neither system has the advantage of Fair Isaac's, which is the industry standard.

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