In his testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon cited an over-reliance on consumer credit scores as a contributing factor to last year's financial meltdown. ["Illumination is Lacking at Crisis Inquiry Hearing," Jan. 14]

I agree if scoring is improperly utilized, the results are not optimal. Credit scoring should be part of a comprehensive and detailed process, not the sole criteria for evaluating loan applications.

Credit scores predict the propensity for default within a two-year timeframe but cannot uncover application fraud or predict absolute losses. They contribute to, but are not a substitute for, sound underwriting practices.

Lenders must consider risk is shifting. VantageScore Solutions research has shown that while a consumer's credit score may have remained unchanged, the risk to lenders has not. This means lenders should review risk assessment strategies regularly to ensure predictiveness and accuracy.

Having multiple measures in place, in conjunction with accurate credit scoring, could have prevented some of the poor lending decisions and the resultant economic fallout.

Barrett Burns
Chief Executive Officer
VantageScore Solutions
Greenwich, Conn.
Editor's Note: VantageScore provides a consumer credit scoring to the major credit reporting companies.

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