New era of quasi-credit scores coming


Editor’s note: Lawyer and car-buying expert Adam Goldfein fills in for Clark Howard Monday the 19th – Wednesday the 21st of this week. Below is a summary of some of what he discussed. Visit for more information.

Credit scores are so important. They determine whether you can get financing or not, what interest rate you’ll pay and more. But they’re also used where we don’t borrow money, such as when employers are doing a background check on a potential hire or when an insurance company set your insurance rates.

Go to and see what’s on your credit to make sure it’s accurate. If you see an inaccuracy, be sure to report it to all three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Now there’s a new group of credit-like scores coming out. For example, Fair Isaac has a Medication Adherence Score to figure out the likelihood you’ll take a prescription as directed by a doctor. Among the factors they examine to arrive at the score are sex, whether or not you own your home and if you own a vehicle.

Because credit reports don’t list your income, Experian has a score Income Insight they sell to businesses that are prospecting for customers. It offers their best approximation of your personal income.

Equifax has the Ability To Pay Index and the Discretionary Spending Index. The latter supposedly can determine which consumers have money they’re just sitting on. Marketers would love to know that so they can nudge you to buy whatever it is they’re selling!

Remember, these are not credit reports in the traditional sense of the term, which means you don’t have the right to see them or correct misinformation. You really have no idea what they’re saying. But is it important for you to know that these things are out there.

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