Scores Aren't Everything

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Reading Ray Birch's Article "Why Some Are Finding Success In Making Loans" (CU Journal, Oct. 24), I am concerned about an omission in "expert" comments relative to FICO scores and subprime lending.

I wonder whether we are looking too closely at FICO scores and forgetting to consider the basis for those scores? I seldom hear "experts" talk about the substantive elements that contribute to the mystical FICO. Perhaps we should talk to our members; ask them some questions as opposed to making decisions based on one sacred metric.

If it be true that we measure things that are measurable simply because it is easy to do so (e.g. FICO), we may be forgetting to take a critical extra step to discover whether the member does, in fact, have the capacity to repay despite what the score may suggest and whether or not underlying problems that caused the low score have been resolved.

I'm just saying, let's not jump to "prime or subprime" assumptions based solely on FICO.

John R. Schaffner, CEO
Financial Benefits CU, Alameda, Calif.

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