Following suggestions made by users, Fair, Isaac Co. has upgraded its personal computer-based credit application scoring product, CreditDesk.

CreditDesk runs in a Microsoft Windows-based environment and is used primarily by retailers, credit unions, and smaller banks for indirect and installment lending.

CreditDesk automates the credit granting process by applying strategies based on credit scoring in conjunction with data provided by the applicants and credit bureaus.

The system is designed to operate on a single PC or in a network of desktop computers. It can also be downloaded to run on a laptop PC.

Taking advantage of this feature are lenders at First American Bank and Trust of Louisiana, a community bank that uses CreditDesk at boat shows to grant on-the-spot loans to buyers.

Jack Plummer, First American's senior vice president, says he can process 40 to 50 such loans a day by using a modem link to credit bureaus.

In indirect lending, speed of processing loans is essential because banks and other credit granters often compete against each other for the same piece of business.

Automobile dealers, for example, generally try to shop a loan to a handful of lenders. The approval that comes in first usually gets the business.

Can Check Co-Applicants

The upgrade provides a range of new features, including a co-applicant processing option. Lenders can evaluate the credit history of secondary applicants, thus safeguarding against delinquency.

"Many customers felt that it was important to get this feature into product because it was part of their existing credit policy, but they needed a way to technologically support that policy," said Jerry Labay, a product manager at San Rafael, Calif.-based Fair, Isaac.

CreditDesk has also been enhanced so that lenders can prevent a credit report from being issued if the application scored low on preliminary income information.

This feature saves the lender the cost of paying for unnecessary credit reports. In addition, the system provides lenders with the capability of offering conditional acceptances.

For example, a bank may choose to approve a loan but only on the condition that the applicant put more money down or provide additional income verification.

The software can also interface with loan document preparation packages to make legally binding documents.

Ms. Sullivan is a freelance writer based in New York.

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