Summary
A credit score is a numerical expression based on a level analysis of a person's credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of an individual. A credit score is primarily based on a credit report, information typically sourced from credit bureaus. Lenders, such as banks and credit card companies, use credit scores to evaluate the potential risk posed by lending money to consumers and to mitigate losses due to bad debt. Lenders use credit scores to determine who qualifies for a loan, at what interest rate, and what credit limits. Lenders also use credit scores to determine which customers are likely to bring in the most revenue. Credit scoring is not limited to banks. Other organizations, such as mobile phone companies, insurance companies, landlords, and government departments employ the same techniques. Digital finance companies such as online lenders also use alternative data sources to calculate the creditworthiness of borrowers. In Australia, credit scoring is widely accepted as the primary method of assessing creditworthiness. Credit scoring is used not only to determine whether credit should be approved to an applicant, but for credit scoring in the setting of credit limits on credit or store cards, in behavioral modelling such as collections scoring, and also in the pre-approval of additional credit to a company's existing client base. Although logistic (or non-linear) probability modelling is still the most popular means by which to develop scorecards, various other methods offer powerful alternatives, including MARS, CART, CHAID, and random forests. Prior to 12 March 2014 Veda Advantage, the main provider of credit file data, provided only a negative credit reporting system containing information on applications for credit and adverse listings indicating a default under a credit contract. Veda was acquired by Equifax in Feb 2016, making Equifax the largest credit agency in Australia. With the subsequent introduction of positive reporting, lending companies have begun an uptake of its usage with some implementing risk based pricing to set lending rates.
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