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Credit simulators also should draw from each of the three main credit-reporting agencies. This is important for many reasons. It allows a quick check for discrepancies among agencies. Often, the quickest, easiest way to raise a credit score is to find inaccuracies in one agency's data and dispute it with proof. In those cases, a broker can deepen the client relationship by linking customers to a rapid-rescoring or expedited-dispute-resolution service.
When considering which tool is right, note that some are more user-friendly than others. For example, some all-in-one solutions offer clear explanations that can be read straight to the customer -- a far cry from the ambiguous, required adverse-action reasons that accompany a loan denial.
Lastly, look for a credit simulator that is accessible from a central source via the Internet to avoid installation and update hassles.
Education brings value
Credit-simulations tools only are intended to educate -- not to predict every situation for every consumer. They can, however, show how purchasing and financial decisions can affect overall credit health.
For brokers, credit scores are not the mysterious result of complex calculations. With an all-in-one simulator solution, brokers can quickly turn a tough moment into an educational event. Effective simulators offer interactive and graphical benchmarking, such as comparing customers' scores and credit-report attributes to others in their ZIP code, region or state. It's a technology whose time has come.
Matt Schwab, vice president of product development for Experian-Scorex, led the development and introduction this year of Experian-Scorex's ScoreRight™ credit-simulation tool. Schwab joined Experian-Scorex in 2004 and brought more than nine years of financial-services experience in management. Experian-Scorex is the decisioning-solutions arm of Experian. With 28 offices worldwide, Experian-Scorex helps organizations make billions of strategic decisions annually, and its clients represent many of the world's most-renowned organizations. E-mail Schwab at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.experian.com.
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