Credit scoring has drawn skeptics and critics, but lenders continue to find new uses for it - and companies that create decision tools continue to offer new products for lenders' changing needs. Credit scores are numerical ratings that lenders use to forecast a person's credit performance. Although scores historically have been used to assess the likelihood that a person will default, lenders today are finding a wider range of uses for them.

"Risk management is a money-generating department now, not just a loss- control department," said Lurdis Abruscato, editor of Credit Risk Management Report, an industry publication.

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