Displaying articles for: August 2012

What is "Alternative" Credit Data?

by ‎08-30-2012 02:50 PM - edited ‎09-05-2012 10:22 AM

Guest post from the FICO Banking Analytics Blog. 


When you stop to think about it, the term “alternative credit data” is a catch-all phrase to describe data that is not currently reported on mainstream credit reports. But what, in reality, is alternative about it?


For millions of people, it may not be alternative data but the only credit record they have. For these consumers, it would seem it is primary data. Especially if that data can help them qualify for their first mainstream credit or loan. For everyone else, such data might be considered supplemental. It can be matched with an applicant’s traditional credit bureau file to provide a richer credit profile and lead to better lending decisions.


Personal Finance for Artists

by ‎08-21-2012 12:19 PM - edited ‎08-21-2012 12:44 PM


Two_dancers.jpgWhen I was in high school, I dreamed of a career on the stage. I threw myself into intensive dance and singing lessons every night after school, and spent hours in studios rehearsing musicals. I envisioned myself on a Broadway stage, rehearsed my Tony acceptance speech in the mirror, and practiced my signature for the day fans would ask for my autograph.


 Senior year, college decisions forced me to think about the logistics of my future, and suddenly my idealized vision of starring on Broadway clashed with real, pressing decisions about money, college, and my career. Understanding the harsh reality of “making it” as an actor, while also feeling the immense weight of a lifelong dream on my shoulders, I was torn. I began considering other possible careers and grappled with the idea of not spending my life on the stage.

Around that time, a director of mine asked about my plans for college.


“I’m deciding between musical theatre and environmental science,” I explained.


To my shock, he quickly responded, “Go with environmental science.”




The Hidden Costs of College

by ‎08-09-2012 10:27 AM - edited ‎08-09-2012 10:29 AM

With all the recent buzz about student loans, the skyrocketing price of higher education is a hot topic – but the financial impact of college goes far beyond just tuition. Plenty of secondary expenses aren’t factored into college "sticker prices," and many of them don’t become apparent until after students get to campus. From parking to Greek life, students should take note of these expenses when figuring out a sustainable budget for the school year:


Dorm Room: Most college dorm rooms come with a bed, a desk, and a few drawers. Students are responsible for providing everything else: lamps, rugs, pillows, bedding, hangers, etc. Take advantage of back-to-school sales and reach out to your roommate/s to split the cost of shared items. Go to your school’s Facebook page and see if upperclassmen on your campus have listed old furniture and dorm items for sale. Check Craigslist and thrift stores for gently used furniture and appliances.


Textbooks: Buying brand new books from the school bookstore can cost hundreds of dollars easily. Luckily, there are many resources for used books. Sites like Chegg.com and CampusBookRenatals.com offer used books at a much more affordable price, and rent out books at an even cheaper rate. These sites, and many others, will also buy back your books at the end of the semester. Also, reach out to upperclassmen and recent grads to see if they’re selling or giving away their books. Your school bookstore may also offer a rental program; some will rent books at half price provided they are returned in good condition at the end of the term.


Is US Consumer Credit Availability About to Expand?

by ‎08-01-2012 01:04 PM - edited ‎08-01-2012 01:06 PM

The following guest post by Andrew Jennings was originally published on the FICO Banking Analytics Blog.



Lately I’ve been examining the results of our latest quarterly survey of US bank risk managers. One item of note was regarding the outlook for credit availability.  In a positive sign, our survey found that lenders expected the supply of credit to satisfy demand for all types of consumer loans in the second half of this year. It’s a change from last quarter when survey respondents expected the credit supply for residential mortgages to fall short of demand.


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