Our Thoughts

FJY News to Know #56

The Penultimate State to Enter the U.S. Will be the First Counted in New Census

Getting around the State of Alaska can be trying, even with adequate transportation. 80% of the state’s communities aren’t connected by roads. For example, in the 2010 census, the Census Bureau director took a dog sled to complete his trip to Noorvik, Alaska. However, many of the smaller communities are counting on the next census: If their numbers have increased significantly, it could mean more state and federal aid for them. “We look for villages that are off the road system as a place to start the census here in Alaska,” explains Carol Gore, who chairs the Census Bureaus National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. For more information about modern Alaska and the next census, go here.

 

Mercedes-Benz is Joining the Band Wagon with Subscription-Based App

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz is starting a car-subscription pilot in two U.S. cities. They will be joining Jeep and Porsche in testing alternatives to traditional ownership. The app-based service will be available to drivers in Nashville and Philadelphia, with three pricing tiers ($1,095 to $2,995 a month). Subscribers will get access to 30 different models, from C-Class sedans to GLE sport utility vehicles, and can swap cars as often as they like in some cases. Mercedes chose Nashville because of its high job growth, and a more significant number of young, affluent buyers. Customers will download an app and pay a $495 activation fee. The monthly fee covers insurance, vehicle maintenance, and 24-hour roadside assistance. For more on this new approach, click here.

 

Fair Isaac Corporation — Creator of the FICO — Will Start Scrutinizing and Changing Consumers’ Credit Profiles

The company is due to start targeting consumers with higher debt levels, and those with overdue loan payments. People who are managing their loans with FICOs of 680+ are likely to score higher than with the previous model. Conversely, consumers with scores below 600, who miss payments or accumulate other black marks, will experience a substantial decline in their scores. The changes are a somewhat radical change from the past when FICO and credit-reporting companies made changes that helped increase scores for some consumers when they removed negative information such as civil judgments. Such changes will hopefully help lenders identify more creditworthy consumers — and make it easier for them to be approved for loans. One of the new versions, called FICO 10 T, will place greater weight on recently missed payments. Average FICO scores have been steadily rising following some of these changes and an improving economy. To read more about the changes and their impact on the lending industry, visit this page.