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Measuring consumer resilience to economic stress using the FICO® Resilience Index

Discover and manage potential latent risk within groups of consumers bearing similar FICO® Scores, without cutting off access to credit for resilient consumers.


FICO® Scores are designed to rank-order the expected future payment performance of consumers’ credit obligations based on their observable credit bureau attributes, irrespective of the economic environment. Lenders may calibrate FICO Scores based on their own loan portfolios’ recent performance to predict the odds of satisfactory payment performance.

However, disruptions to the economic environment can change these repayment odds in a way that differs from a lender’s calibrated estimates, leading to discrepancies between predicted and actual future default odds, and therefore to sub-optimal decisions and analysis results. Such disruptions reveal “latent risks” across portfolios that only manifest themselves during periods of economic stress.

This white paper covers two questions which naturally arise:

  1. How can I identify economically resilient consumers from readily available data?
  2. How should I factor knowledge of consumers’ economic resilience into my lending decisions and portfolio management approach?