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VantageScore Study Shows Potential Removal of Tax-Lien and Civil-Judgment Data from Credit Files Would not Significantly Hinder Model Performance

 Study Highlights ‘Maximum Impact’ as Details of the National Consumer Assistance Plan Emerge

STAMFORD, Conn, August 23, 2016 – VantageScore Solutions, the company behind the VantageScore credit scoring model, has published a study that gauges the credit-score impact of eliminating certain derogatory public-records entries from consumer credit files.

Conducted in anticipation of consumer-centric changes in the data stored in consumer credit files, the analysis found minimal adverse impact on the performance of the VantageScore 3.0 credit scoring model.


In March 2015, the three national credit reporting companies (CRCs), Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, developed the National Consumer Assistance Plan, (NCAP), which is a series of initiatives to enhance the accuracy of credit reports and make the process of dealing with credit information easier and more transparent for consumers.

The NCAP, developed in cooperation with the trade group Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA), is reviewing all aspects of consumer-credit data reporting and management, and its final determinations have not been disclosed.  Among the options under consideration is the removal of some or all of the tax liens and civil judgment records from consumer credit files.

In light of that possibility, VantageScore Solutions conducted an analysis of the impact that the removal of those entries could have on consumers’ credit scores calculated using the VantageScore 3.0 credit scoring model.

Tax liens and civil judgments are among the many potential credit-file entries that scoring models evaluate when predicting the likelihood that a given consumer will default on his or her loan payments – i.e., going 90 days or more past-due on a payment.  Liens and judgments are known to be valid predictors of future default, and the loss of any predictive data could hinder the effectiveness of credit scoring models –both in their ability to accurately assign scores to individual consumers, and to accurately rank-order consumers according to the likelihood of default.

Results highlights

To understand the impact of removing civil-judgment and tax-lien data from credit files on the performance of VantageScore 3.0, VantageScore’s analytic science team obtained credit files for four million consumers from one CRC, and compared the scoring results before and after the removal of all tax liens and civil judgments from those files—a scenario representative of the “maximum-impact” treatment of tax lien and judgment records.

The analysis is now available as a whitepaper entitled, “Impact to VantageScore 3.0 Credit Score Model From Revisions to Public Record Reporting.”

The analysis reveals a number of important findings, including:


  • Removal of tax-lien and civil-judgment records led to changes in VantageScore 3.0 scores for slightly more than eight percent of the scoreable U.S. population, and the average change was a score increase of 10 points.

  • VantageScore 3.0’s predictive performance diminished only slightly, because each scorecard within the model considers multiple derogatory factors, so the loss of tax liens and civil judgments was largely covered by other overlapping negative information in the affected credit files.

  • As details of the NCAP emerge, it is possible that some of these data will be retained in the credit files and the negative impact on model performance could be even less than that obtained by the ‘maximum impact’ scenario tested by VantageScore.


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