People without credit score now getting one

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's the one number that can save you money or cost you big bucks. We're talking about your credit score, and while most of us have one, millions do not but that may soon change.

About 50 million people have no credit score, and for them, getting a loan can be impossible. Now a new credit score is being created for those consumers, but some say it may not be a good thing.

Hugo Perez loves his new car.

"I'm excited about this," said Perez.

Two years ago, Perez's credit score was in the 500's and the dream of getting a car was out of reach.

But things changed, thanks to his hard work.

"I had to work a lot, save a lot of money, pay everything on time and it was a very, very, rough road," said Perez.

More than 50 million Americans do not have any credit score at all. But FICO, the company that provides credit scores, is planning to change that. The company is rolling out a new score specifically for those who currently don't have one.

It's good news for some because car loans and home loans will now be possible, but some consumer advocates think the information used to come up with the new score may end up saddling consumers with low scores.

That new criteria includes payment histories on power bills, cable bills, and even the number of times a person has moved.

Randy Martinez is the president and CEO of Promise Credit Union. He sees consumers without credit scores every day.

"When you look at the basic utilities, water, gas, light, many of our families are going to pay them late sometimes, they get in a financial bind and they pay them late; but they will pay them because they need them, but if it adversely affects the credit score because they paid it late, then it doesn't really help them," said Martinez.

The new score is just for those without a credit score right now. It is intended to help those seeking their first line of credit because lenders currently do not have anything to base decisions on.

One issue with the new score is potential errors.

The score relies on the utility companies to get the information right, something consumer advocates say is a problem with the current system.

Again, the new score only for those without a credit score right now.

Some credit cards provide scores free of charge, you can see your credit report for free by going to
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