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If Joe has free and ready access to his score, wouldn't it be nice if he could get a ballpark answer to his quandry over the phone? For example, wouldn't it be nice to call up 2 or 3 mortgage brokers and ask them to fax/e-mail/mail a schedule of interest rates & points broken out by loan amounts and ranges of credit scores?

This is not realistic. Mortgage companies require a lot more information before deciding on a rate for Joe. The do not, as you imply, simply go on the FICO score reported by a CRA. They may use any number of criteria in addition to that score, and in fact may use their very own Fair, Isaac formula, or one from another scoring company, created specifically for them INSTEAD of the one used by a CRA.

A lender looks at a score and decides (based on that number) whether extending credit poses too much risk. Ms. Hypothetical Consumer can only look at her credit report and guess whether she might qualify for a loan. She applies, only to learn she's been rejected for having the wrong balance of account types, not enough credit history, too many credit cards or some other inconsequential factor negatively impacting her score.

Again, knowing her standard FICO score won't help her at all. She has no idea HOW the supposed lender will consider that score. She is a well informed consumer, knowing her own FICO score and everything, but in the end, it doesn't make her any more or less likely to get that loan than if she knows what her CRA reports look like.

A third way score disclosure can benefit consumers is by addressing score anomalies. What if your score doesn't reasonably assess your risk of defaulting on a debt? </>

So what? Do you think that knowing our score will also give us the power to go into a bank and say, "Hey, I'm not as risky as I my score suggests because I was smart enough to save money using a teaser rate and it shouldn't make me look bad?" I don't think so. Knowing your score isn't going to make lendors evaluate it any differently.


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