Are You Being Profiled?
Your credit score is the most frequently and widely used method for determining your credit worthiness, but what if a 700 credit score was not just a 700 credit anymore? What if there was a way to try to predict consumer debt delinquency behavior even among those individuals that have 700 credit score? Recent research by Xiao and Yao suggests that where you are in your family life cycle could also be another predictor. Xiao and Yao reviewed 15 different life cycle stages
and found the following groups were most likely to be delinquent:
- Young couples with children aged seven
- Middle-aged singles with children age 15 or older
- Middle-aged singles with children under 15
- Middle-aged couples with children under 15
- Older couples with financial dependents
What does this mean for the consumers that fall into these groups? It means that financial institutions, bank and credit unions or alternate financial service providers such as payday lenders, cashing services or high interest lenders may profile you for targeted marketing campaigns. What can you do be proactive and avoid negative or sub par offers as a result of being profiled?
- Check your credit report at https://www.annualcreditreport.com/. (It is the only official government authorized free credit reporting site.)
- Before making a major purchase requiring the use of credit, you may want to know your actual score (Often times this is not free).
- Make sure you understand your credit report and/or score. To learn more, contact the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent in your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.
- Research financial institutions or alternate service providers to insure you are getting the best offer base on your score
Don’t be a victim of profiling any longer. Take action now. For more information on credit scoring, contact your Family Consumer Science Agent.
Read the following publications for more information:
- You and Your Credit Series: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_series_you_and_your_creditConsumer
- Consumer Debt Management Options: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1278
- Credit Score Quiz: http://CreditScoreQuiz.org/
Jing Jian Xiao, Rui Yao, (2014) “Consumer debt delinquency by family lifecycle categories”, International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 32 Iss: 1, pp.43 – 59