Dispelling credit attribute myths, Part 3

By: Wendy Greenawalt

In the last installment of my three part series dispelling credit attribute myths, we’ll discuss the myth that the lift achieved by utilizing new attributes is minimal, so it is not worth the effort of evaluating and/or implementing new credit attributes. First, evaluating accuracy and efficiency of credit attributes is hard to measure. Experian data experts are some of the best in the business and, in this edition, we will discuss some of the methods Experian uses to evaluate attribute performance.

When considering any new attributes, the first method we use to validate statistical performance is to complete a statistical head-to-head comparison. This method incorporates the use of KS (Kolmogorov–Smirnov statistic), Gini coefficient, worst-scoring capture rate or odds ratio when comparing two samples. Once completed, we implement an established standard process to measure value from different outcomes in an automated and consistent format. While this process may be time and labor intensive, the reward can be found in the financial savings that can be obtained by identifying the right segments, including:

• Risk models that better identify “bad” accounts and minimizing losses
• Marketing models that improve targeting while maximizing campaign dollars spent
• Collections models that enhance identification of recoverable accounts leading to more recovered dollars with lower fixed costs

Credit attributes
Recently, Experian conducted a similar exercise and found that an improvement of 2-to-22 percent in risk prediction can be achieved through the implementation of new attributes. When these metrics are applied to a portfolio where several hundred bad accounts are now captured, the resulting savings can add up quickly (500 accounts with average loss rate of $3,000 = $1.5M potential savings). These savings over time more than justify the cost of evaluating and implementing new credit attributes.