FICO Score 9: SubscriberWise will be First to Deliver High-Volume FICO Scores Business-to-Business for Underwriting of U.S. Communications Market

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SubscriberWise was the first Issuing consumer reporting agency to adopt FICO 8 Score when introduced in 2009. Since then, hundreds of thousands of U.S. consumers have benefited from genuine FICO score disclosures contained in federally compliant risk base pricing notices.

"This is a critical scoring enhancement from FICO,” said David Hoffer, vice president of SubscriberWise and chief operating officer for MCTV.

SubscriberWise®, the nation’s first issuing consumer reporting agency for the communications industry and a leading provider of analytics-driven subscriber risk management and rules technology, announced today its intention to be among the earliest adopters of the new scoring technology from FICO. The new algorithm is designed to bypass paid collections and treat medical collections less adversely than non-medical collections.

“I’ve contacted FICO,” said SubscriberWise president David Howe. “I’ve given them their marching orders: provide our organization with any new details and release the technology as soon as humanly possible.”

“This is a critical scoring enhancement from FICO,” said David Hoffer, vice president of SubscriberWise and chief operating officer for MCTV ( “Our members are pleased with this news and are anticipating its implementation. FICO’s announcement of a sophisticated and reliable scoring model that treats medical collections non-punitively has always remained an expectation.

MCTV is an end user of SubscriberWise,” continued Hoffer. “Its member operators and their employees are MCTV’s friends and peers. We succeed because we collaborate regularly with these operators. There are many objectives and concerns that we share in the industry. Risk management is one of the most important objectives today. We’re all highly supportive of any enhancement that will benefit consumers.”

"It's definitely good news -- about half of the negatives on consumers' credit reports are from medical debt," said Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. Medical debt frequently winds up in collections because of insurance billing problems, not because the consumer can't pay.”

In a recent study, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found consumers with medical debts were over-penalized in the calculation of their credit scores, based on their overall debt payment record. For individuals with paid-off medical debts, the penalty amounted to credit scores 16 points to 22 points lower than people with similar repayment histories.

"We hope the fact that the CFPB did their own research very rigorously will help convince lenders to adopt this," stated Wu in a prior statement.

“SubscriberWise segmentation technology is developed on highly refined, industry-specific risk and selling categories. The performance period of our ratings literally spans decades,” explained Howe. “The system works so well because the credit bar is set low to begin, but then identifies any positive factors that may be contained on the consumer report (i.e. absence of collections, absence of past due accounts, length of credit file). The benefit is an automatic segmentation into a more favorable decision level despite a low FICO score. This is particularly important for consumers with adverse scores,” continued Howe. “It’s an interesting and noteworthy fact that SubscriberWise decision technology included these redeeming technological features with the initial software build that was part of our nationwide launch nearly 10 years ago. Treating customers fairly has always been part of our vision because none of us is immune from life-events and circumstances. It’s all about respect and equity. It’s the only way to build positive and lasting relationships with our subscribers.

And now with these important FICO 9 enhancements, there is the potential to add up to 25 points for consumers who have been previously penalized by medical or paid collections. This net result will translate into many more favorable decision levels that will benefit operators and subscribers alike. I’m very ambitious about this FICO 9 score and want it tested and installed ASAP,” declared Howe.

“As for our part here at SubscriberWise, I’ve directed Nick Provost, project manager for SubscriberWise, and Mark Hoffer, SubscriberWise chief systems engineer, with the task of building test and production servers – ahead of the official release - so that we can quickly and accurately evaluate and implement the new scoring system with the existing FICO 8 technology used today,” Howe continued.

“Rod Griffin, the director of consumer education at Experian was recently quoted: ‘They don't just flip a switch. They're going to want to test the new model’. Although I appreciate and understand Rod’s point, that statement simply doesn’t reflect SubscriberWise’s methodology,” explained Howe. “We’ve designed our technology to include speed-to-market and without any sacrifice on testing and performance. And apparently the method is working: earlier this year, SubscriberWise was named winner in CableFAX’s commercial software category. The competition was open to every MSO, tech vendor, and cable network in North America ( I couldn’t be more pleased. I couldn’t be more proud.

Yes, I expect we’ll have FICO 9 integrated for every member within 30 days of release. I also expect the results will be exactly as advertised by FICO,” Howe concluded.

SubscriberWise also proudly announced in July that its board member and MCTV president Robert Gessner was elected as Chairman of the American Cable Association. Good luck, Bob!

About SubscriberWise

SubscriberWise was founded in 2006 as the nation’s first issuing CRA for the cable industry by company president David E. Howe. In 2009, SubscriberWise and TransUnion announced a joint marketing agreement for the benefit of America’s independent cable operators ( Today SubscriberWise is a risk management preferred-solutions provider for the National Cable Television Cooperative. SubscriberWise technology has prevented thousands of child identity thefts around the nation. SubscriberWise contributions to the communications industry are today measured in the multiple tens of millions of dollars annually.

SubscriberWise president David Howe is a consultant and credit manager for MCTV ( During his 18-year career at MCTV, Howe has reviewed more than 50,000 credit submissions. His interest in credit began in 1986 while a 17-year old student in high school.    Howe is the only known individual – living or deceased - to have obtained both a perfect FICO 850 and a perfect Vantage 990 score. Howe has obtained FICO Professional Certification and is also the first and only person to ever describe and report the details of the perfect FICO score to a U.S. reporter. Howe produced and published two videos on the subject of perfect credit: and . The first general-purpose FICO scores were debuted nearly a quarter century ago.


David E. Howe, President
330-880-4848 x137

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