Credit scores determine how much we pay for mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. Now there are new types of scores that measure more than just our credit worthiness: They influence our reputation, employability and lifestyle.
Experian has a formula to gauge whether consumers will file for bankruptcy. Equifax tabulates a score on discretionary income. And Fair Isaac Co., which offers the FICO credit score, has unveiled a score that predicts whether you’ll take your meds.
How does this impact your identity?
The Wall Street Journal reports that “the proliferation of ‘scores’ highlights the widening trade in personal information, which is already fueling public concern about diminishing personal privacy. It also shows how data collected for one purpose, such as credit histories, are increasingly used for others.”
So the identity theft victim with a tarnished credit score could, theoretically, see a high medical insurance premium, if that provider relies on the medical adherence score. I's a ripple effect that can cut across a victim’s entire life.
This is just another reason to aggressively manage your identity portfolio. There are free tools out there, such as Credit.com’s Free Credit Report Card and new Identity Theft Risk calculator. Knowing your ranking and checking the numbers every three to six months will help, especially if someone steals your personal information.
“The credit score itself costs, so be wary of services that entice you with a free credit score,” says Betty Chan-Bauza, vice president of product management at Identity Theft 911. “These offers could be attempts to obtain your personally identifiable information.”
The bad guys continue to hijack consumers’ identities. The business world continues to rank and categorize your “value.” Only you, the consumer, can make sure your identity is safe and that your assets are judged fairly. You’re in the driver’s seat here.