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(One such alternative credit bureau is PRBC, recently acquired by Microbilt. Both companies cater to small and medium-sized businesses. PRBC compiles data provided by consumers while Microbilt receives trade line data directly from small businesses.)

Besides the Expansion score, there are other, similar, scores available to lenders, but so far none are as widely used as the conventional scoring models measuring traditional credit data.

"When you introduce any new technology or advancement for lenders, they spend a long time kicking the tires," says Watts.

"Some credit card issuers are using Expansion scores today, but the score hasn't really taken off with mortgage lenders," he says. The reason: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have had an enormous influence on the risk-management tools used by lenders and require specific scoring criteria before purchasing mortgages.

Until the new scoring models are widely accepted, consumers with little to no credit may be able to benefit from them in building their credit histories, but they won't likely be offered a mortgage on the strength of that score alone.

However, over time, as the Expansion scores prove their predictive abilities, lenders will be more likely to use them.


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