Credit & Risk

Harris Poll: Most Americans Would Sacrifice More Personal Data For a Better Loan

Bruce Upbin

March 19, 2019

New research shows deep dissatisfaction among most Americans with the traditional credit scoring system. In a new survey conducted via the Harris Poll, a majority of Americans voiced serious concerns about a system they feel is set up to fail consumers, especially the most economically vulnerable.

Has your credit score ever gotten in the way of you achieving something important in your life, like buying a house or a new car? Yes.

Does it represent you accurately as a borrower? Not really.

Do you think that banks should adopt new ways and new technologies to assess credit? Absolutely.

One of the most surprising findings in the Harris Poll survey was that a majority of Americans across all demographic groups would be happy to give up more personal data if it resulted in a fairer credit decision. Eight out of ten people, again, cutting across all demographic groups, think their bank should use more modern technologies to assess their creditworthiness.

Young people and minority groups feel most acutely that the way their credit is scored stacks the deck against them relative to other demographics. Six out of ten Americans under 34 say their credit score has prevented them from buying a car or a home. Eight out of ten Hispanics and African Americans say their credit score is an inaccurate representation of who they are.

“Consumers are fed up with the current way loans are made. People deserve a better shot at being assessed using factors beyond just their credit score,” said Douglas Merrill, CEO, ZestFinance. “This only confirms what we’ve known for years: That people want more data and the latest tools to be used to score them instead of the outdated process that is still largely in place today.”

At Zest, we’re committed to making fair and transparent credit available to everyone. We think the way to do that is use better math and more data to assess borrowers. Find out more about machine learning for credit underwriting here.

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