What Is a SageStream Score? 5 Things to Know

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SageStream credit score
Image Credit: SageStream/Clark.com

If you’re applying for a loan, you can expect the lender to check your credit with the three major credit reporting bureaus. Depending on what kind of loan you’re getting, the lender might also run a credit check with a company called SageStream.

Team Clark has received multiple questions and complaints from people who had otherwise great credit scores but were denied a loan because of a lower SageStream score.

In this article, I’ll explain what SageStream is, how your SageStream score might be used, and what you can do to protect yourself from being denied credit because of it.

What Is SageStream?

According to its website, SageStream is a secondary credit reporting agency that provides consumer credit reports and scores to lenders. Though its origins are unclear, SageStream — like primary reporting agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

SageStream says it “generates insights into creditworthiness of consumers and enhances traditional credit decisioning.”

That means that lenders could be looking at your SageStream score in addition to your FICO score as provided by one of the major reporting agencies.

In a 2016 interview with the Los Angeles Times, SageStream executive Patrick Reemts explained that the company looks at “nontraditional information, such as people’s relationship with wireless providers or Internet service providers, how well they pay their bills.”

SageStream says its scores are used by various types of companies including:

  • Credit card issuers
  • Retailers
  • Wireless telephone service providers
  • Auto lenders

It’s that last item, auto lenders, that seems to be the pain point for people who’ve reached us through our “Ask Clark” service. We were contacted by a person from North Carolina who’d recently tried to get a car loan:

“Today, I open up my mail and I was…surprised to see that I was denied a loan from Ally bank because my SageStream score was in the 600s. I had never heard of this credit bureau. I know the big three but not this one. What should I do? Are they a legit company??”

The simple answer: “Yes, it is a legit company,” and we know that at least one big bank (Ally) is using SageStream scores. Beyond that, things get a bit murky.

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How Does SageStream Calculate Your Score?

How SageStream calculates the scores that it provides to lenders is a bit of a mystery. While we generally know how the FICO scores for the three major credit bureaus are calculated, SageStream is less than forthcoming about how it arrives at your score.

On its website, the company says:

“[A} consumer’s credit score produced by each consumer reporting agency can differ depending on the data that the consumer reporting agency has about a consumer at the time when the credit score is calculated, as well as the score model used to calculate the score.”

Confusing, right? Or maybe even irrelevant? But there’s no further information on the company’s website that refers in any way to the data SageStream uses or the model the company uses to calculate scores.

I reached out to SageStream to see if I could get more insight into score calculations, but the company referred me back to the website. I was told that “all of the information is there.”

Can I Find Out What My SageStream Score Is?

Despite not knowing how your score is calculated, you can request your score directly from SageStream here. To get your score, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Address
  • Phone number

You’ll also need to provide a copy of a government-issued ID or other supporting documents to prove your identity.

SageStream Credit Score request

I submitted the request to get my score on July 17, 2020, and received this message as soon as I finished completing the form:

SageStream score request message
SageStream

I will update this story with my score if and when I receive it in the mail.

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Why Is My SageStream Score So Much Lower Than My Other Credit Scores?

There could be a number of reasons why your SageStream score is lower than your other scores. But without insight into the credit factors and scoring model, it’s impossible to know what they are.

However, based on input from our reader who was denied a car loan from Ally Bank, we do know that it happens:

“I know my credit scores from the big three are around 800, but I received a letter in the mail that I was denied a car loan because my SageStream score is in the 600’s.”

Each credit reporting agency uses a different formula to determine your score. Your Experian score might not be the same as your TransUnion score, even if they’re all working with the same information.

The issue is further complicated by the fact that SageStream uses a different scoring scale. FICO scores — the system the big three credit reporting agencies use — most commonly range from 300 to 850. SageStream credit scores range from 001 to 999.

Neither SageStream nor the companies that use SageStream provide any guidance on what constitutes a “good” score, so the only real conclusion we can draw is that the closer your score is to 999, the better.

Can I Freeze My Credit With SageStream or Block My Score?

Yes, you can freeze your credit with SageStream, just as you can with the three major bureaus. This will in turn will block lenders from seeing your SageStream score.

You can submit a request for a freeze online, by mail or by fax:

  • Submit a request online here
  • Send a request by mail: SageStream, LLC Consumer Office, P.O. Box 503793, San Diego, CA 92150
  • Send a request by fax: (858) 451-2847

Again, you will need to supply your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Address
  • Phone number

You’ll also need to provide a copy of a government-issued ID or other supporting documents to prove your identity.

Once your freeze is in place, it will prohibit SageStream from releasing your credit report or credit score to lenders without your express authorization.

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If you’re concerned about being turned down for a loan because of your SageStream score — or you just want to take one more step to protect your identity — getting a freeze in place is probably a good idea.

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