ATLANTA and MINNEAPOLIS—July 21, 2009—Equifax (NYSE: EFX), a global leader in information solutions, and FICO (NYSE:FIC), the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, are giving lenders and credit grantors easy access to a unique analytic tool to better assess consumer credit risk. Developed by FICO and leveraging Equifax credit data, the Credit Capacity IndexTM is the first forward-looking risk management tool that rank-orders consumers based on their ability to take on future debt. Available through Equifax, Credit Capacity Index enables lenders to strengthen their account acquisition and account management strategies while minimizing exposure to potential losses while not burdening consumers with too much debt.
“The credit crisis has highlighted the importance for lenders of acquiring deeper, forward-looking insights into consumer credit risk,” said Robert Duque-Ribeiro, vice president and general manager of Scoring for FICO. “Credit Capacity Index offers lenders an unprecedented, extra dimension when used in combination with FICO scores. We believe it will be particularly valuable to lenders for improving control over loss exposure and reserves and increasing profitability during today’s uncertain economic times. Furthermore, the ability to understand a consumer’s capacity to handle debt will be critical when managing growth as the economy improves.”
FICO optimized Credit Capacity Index to be used in tandem with BEACON® credit scores, which rank order consumers’ repayment risk based on current credit profile information. Both scores are built on Equifax credit data and can be leveraged by lenders as part of other risk management strategies when making credit decisions. Used together, Credit Capacity Index and BEACON can help lenders differentiate consumers who present the same repayment risk on their current obligations but vary in their capacity to assume new debt or incremental credit balances.
Credit Capacity Index can provide value at different points across the credit account life cycle. For example, it can help credit card issuers avoid future credit defaults by predicting which cardholders can handle incremental debt if extended a higher credit limit. Credit Capacity Index also may help mortgage lenders and the secondary mortgage market by helping them to better predict which borrowers with adjustable rate home loans can handle higher payments once their loan rates reset.
“Enabling lenders to understand credit capacity gives them a vital perspective on consumer credit risk – an edge they have not had before,” said Dann Adams, president, US Information Solutions, Equifax. “By combining Credit Capacity Index with the new BEACON 09 score and Equifax’s income and employment data, lenders gain deeper file transparency that will help them sustain responsible lending practices.”
"As the global recession and financial crisis slowly abate, a key for economic growth will be the continued use of credit by consumers,” said Dana Wiklund, research director of Risk Management for Financial Insights. “To address that need and mitigate their risks, financial service providers are looking for new approaches in several areas including their assessment of consumer creditworthiness. Tools like Credit Capacity Index demonstrate that the industry is investing in and making commitments to new technology to augment ongoing credit decisions and refine risk assessment."
About Equifax (www.equifax.com)
Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust. A global leader in information solutions, employment and income verification and human resources business process outsourcing services, we leverage one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.
Customers have trusted Equifax for over 100 years to deliver innovative solutions with the highest integrity and reliability. Businesses -large and small - rely on us for consumer and business credit intelligence, portfolio management, fraud detection, decisioning technology, marketing tools, HR/payroll services, and much more. We empower individual consumers to manage their personal credit information, protect their identity and maximize their financial well-being.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax Inc. operates in the U.S. and 14 other countries throughout North America, Latin America and Europe. Equifax is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EFX.
FICO (NYSE:FIC) transforms business by making every decision count. FICO’s Decision Management solutions combine trusted advice, world-class analytics and innovative applications to give organizations the power to automate, improve and connect decisions across their business. Clients in 80 countries work with FICO to increase customer loyalty and profitability, cut fraud losses, manage credit risk, meet regulatory and competitive demands, and rapidly build market share. FICO also helps millions of individuals manage their credit health through the www.myFICO.com website. Learn more about FICO at www.FICO.com.
FICO Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Information
Except for historical information contained herein, the statements contained in this news release that relate to FICO or its business are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially, including the success of the Company's Decision Management strategy and reengineering plan, the maintenance of its existing relationships and ability to create new relationships with customers and key alliance partners, its ability to continue to develop new and enhanced products and services, its ability to recruit and retain key technical and managerial personnel, competition, regulatory changes applicable to the use of consumer credit and other data, the failure to realize the anticipated benefits of any acquisitions, continuing material adverse developments in global economic conditions, and other risks described from time to time in FICO’s SEC reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2008, and its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2009. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes, FICO’s results could differ materially from its expectations. FICO disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
FICO and FICO Credit Capacity Index are trademarks or registered trademarks of FICO, in the United States and/or in other countries. Equifax and BEACON are registered trademarks of Equifax Inc.
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