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Dominion Transmission dedicates new regional headquarters in Bridgeport

BRIDGEPORT, WV — Roughly 300 employees, along with state and local representatives helped dedicate a state-of-the-art building that will house the regional headquarters for Dominion Transmission, Inc.

“This is our commitment to be here long-term,” said Brian Sheppard, VP of Pipeline Operations for Dominion. “The community has served us very well and we’re excited to have a new facility as this built in White Oaks.”

The over $30 million, four-story, 106,000-square-foot building is located on a 7.5-acre site in the White Oaks Business Park in Bridgeport and with the finishing touches recently completed, the entire staff has been able to move in.

Sheppard says they will be able to cover the six states within the region all from Harrison County–where they have been located for over 100 years.

“Contained within this building is all of our support teams. We have our gas control, our gas storage, our engineering support teams, our field accounting, as well as our [human resources], government affairs and our IT and [supervisory control and data acquisition] are out here.”

State Secretary of Commerce Keith Burdette was one of the dignitaries on hand and said he expects to see more ribbons being cut in the future if the state can put in as much as Dominion has put into it.

He see the industry as a springboard to diversifying the economy.

“We want to make sure that product that comes out of the ground continues to create jobs,” he said. “That one well continues to create jobs for decades in West Virginia in the manufacturing, in chemicals, in plastics and all the other commodities that natural gas are so critical too.”

As for the specs of the building, one of the main priorities when planning the project was creating a safe, enjoyable work environment for employees, which is reflected in the conference center, free parking, exercise room with showers, lunch room and outdoor patio with fire place.

Another priority was to construct an energy efficient building.

“Our waste water system is specifically designed to save water, open lighting and a lot of the construction materials we used were recycled,” said Bob Orndorff, managing director for West Virginia and state local affairs for Dominion.

The company is applying for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification for the building, meaning it would be recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council as meeting criteria such as being connected to the neighboring community and ecosystem and how efficiently it uses water and energy.

If it were to be accepted, the building would be largest private sector structure to receive such a certification in the state.

March Westin of Morgantown was the developer and general contractor, Thrasher Engineering was the architect and Allegheny Design did the structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing design.

Yahoo’s Stab at Original Shows Bombed

Yahoo’s foray into original content has been a costly one. In a Q3 earnings call on Tuesday, CFO Ken Goldman said the company had taken $42 million in write-downs in its video division in creating three shows: sports comedy Sin City Saints, Other Space, and Community, which it picked up after NBC canceled the show last year, per the Hollywood Reporter. All three aired this spring, but Yahoo “couldn’t see a way to make money over time,“ Goldman said, per the Wrap. “Where we had spent money and had some assets on our balance sheet, we elected to write those off.“ Goldman added more original shows are possible in Yahoo’s future, but “in three cases at least, it didn’t work the way we had hoped it would work.“

Yahoo—whose earnings fell below expectations—seemed to follow Netflix’s lead in reviving Community, just as Netflix produced a final season of Arrested Development. But unlike Netflix, which is a subscription-based service, Yahoo needed to rely on advertisers, reports the Verge. Back in August, Yahoo said it was “continuing to discuss future opportunities for Community,“ though star Joel McHale was simultaneously essentially ruling out a seventh season. “All the actors on the show, almost without exception—their stock has risen significantly, and it’s out of the pay rate that is affordable to make the show,“ he said in an interview. “There is just not enough money to be able to pay for the show.“

Job Ad’s Unfortunate Stipulation: No Haitians

Help wanted: “Laid back nurse, no haitians, must have strong respiratory mngt.“ Yep, you read that right. No Haitians need apply. Interim Healthcare posted the ad in the Rockland Pennysaver in New York last week, prompting double-takes, outrage, a public apology from the company, another one from the Pennysaver, and an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office, reports CBS New York and the Westchester Journal News. All are promising to figure out who wrote the ad and how it ended up in print unquestioned.

The head of a local Haitian community group has an additional beef: The ad writer couldn’t even bother to capitalize “haitians”? “Even the way they put the ad is insulting.“ Interim pledges an independent review—and the state wants it all documented. “The ad in the Pennysaver for an LPN is totally unacceptable and is offensive to us, and we know to all of you,“ says the company president.

Google Worker Has Crazy Way of Avoiding Rent

How to work for Google without spending a large portion of your salary on insanely pricey Bay Area rent? Easy: Just live in the parking lot of the tech company’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. That’s what Brandon S., 23, has been doing since he started working for Google in May, the Washington Post reports. Brandon got a taste of Bay Area rental prices during a summer 2014 internship with the company: He told Business Insider he spent roughly $65 a night on the cheapest corporate housing option, a four-person, 2-bedroom place. But he did little but sleep there, eating three (free) meals on Google’s campus, where he also worked out and showered. After debating the pros (proximity, money savings) and cons (“social suicide,“ upfront costs), he bought a 16-foot 2006 box truck with 128 square feet of indoor space and 157,000 miles on the odometer.

It cost $10,000; he pays $121 a month for insurance and has installed amenities like a bed, dresser, clothes rack, and bike rack. He says Google security hasn’t bothered him beyond cross-checking the truck’s registration file with the company database. Brandon has a running tally on his blog as to how much he has saved by not spending what he estimated would be $2,180 a month in rent. This week he broke even and then crossed into profitable territory. He’s saving money on food, too: He doesn’t want to keep any in the truck for fear of a rodent infestation, so he still eats most meals on the Google campus. He tells Business Insider he’s trying to spend only 10% of his after-tax income, putting the rest toward student loan debt and investments. But there are certainly some no-fun aspects of his living situation, like battling bugs.

Icahn Drops $150M to Fight Corporate Tax Dodgers

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said Wednesday he is creating a $150 million super PAC focused on revising corporate tax law. Icahn will use his super PAC to press Congress to pass legislation that stops US companies from moving their profits overseas to take advantage of lower tax rates — a practice known as “inversions.“ American corporations—including Apple, one of his own biggest investments—are holding more than $2.2 trillion abroad, Icahn said. The investor laid out his plans in a letter posted on his website, which he said he also delivered to lawmakers. He said in a CNBC interview Wednesday that he’s taking action because he’s tired of Congress dodging the issue. “These guys are unwilling to compromise,“ he said of lawmakers. “They have to be held accountable.“

Icahn said he will seek super PAC donations from others but noted in his letter that his own $150 million should be “more than enough to make voters fully aware of the horrible consequences” of inversions. He said it would take “a simple law” to address inversions and “It’s ridiculous not to do it.“ Icahn joins other billionaires, including environmentalist Tom Steyer and gun-control advocate Michael Bloomberg, in using super PACs to tackle a single policy issue. Those two have spent tens of millions of dollars in recent elections boosting politicians who agree with their viewpoints on those topics and criticizing those who don’t. Steyer and Bloomberg have seen limited success with their political projects. Icahn has not given details about how he’ll use his super PAC.

Banker Confuses Net and Gross in $6B Error

A junior foreign-exchange trader at Deutsche Bank in London likely blew his chance to become a senior foreign-exchange trader after mistakenly sending $6 billion to a US hedge fund. While his boss was on vacation, the worker dished out a gross value rather than a net amount in a wire transfer in June, reports, via the Financial Times. The so-called “fat finger” mistake—essentially a data-entry error—wasn’t spotted under the bank’s “four eyes principle,“ which requires two people to review each trade. It also occurred just a day after the bank announced its latest corporate restructuring. The hedge fund returned the money the next day, but Deutsche Bank could have faced insolvency had the hedge fund balked at doing so.

McDonald’s added butter to one of its most popular menu items — and sales are soaring

The company recently changed its recipe for the sandwiches to replace margarine with butter

Adding butter had an immediate impact, driving up sales of Egg McMuffins by double digits, executives said on an earnings call Thursday.

In addition to the McMuffins, executives said another butter-based recipe also helped drive McDonald’s sales in the most recent quarter: the buttermilk crispy sandwich.

“It outperformed the high end of our expectations,“ McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said of the sandwich.

The company on Thursday reported a 0.9% increase in US same-store sales in the most recent quarter, following seven straight quarters of declines.

McDonald’s has also been tweaking how it cooks and prepares its burgers.

The fast-food chain has increased the size of its quarter-pounder beef patties from 4 ounces when raw to 4.25 ounces, according to the company’s website.

The 4-ounce patties shrink to 2.8 ounces after cooking.

It also began toasting its buns for an extra five seconds, making them 15 degrees warmer, and changing how the beef patties are seared and grilled in order to make them juicer.

The company hasn’t said how those changes have affected burger sales.

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Twitter Announces Mass Layoffs

Struggling with user growth and profitability, Twitter is getting rid of nearly two-and-a-half tweets worth of employees, the social media company announced Tuesday. Business Insider reports Twitter will be laying off 336 employees—about 8% of its workforce—largely from the engineering department. “We feel strongly that engineering will move much faster with a smaller and nimbler team,“ cofounder and new CEO Jack Dorsey wrote in an email sent to employees. “And the rest of the organization will be streamlined in parallel.“ According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the first instance of mass layoffs in the company’s nine-year history and comes after its workforce grew 24% in the past year.

The New York Times reports Twitter stocks rose approximately 5% Tuesday in the wake of the downsizing news. But the Journal points out shares are still down 16% this year, and the company remains unprofitable. Twitter’s user growth has stagnated lately, and advertisers—who account for most of the company’s revenue—don’t like the platform as much as Google or Facebook, the Times reports. According to Business Insider, the company plans to pay out $10 million to $20 million in severance packages as part of the layoffs. “This isn’t easy. But it is right,“ Dorsey wrote to employees. “The world needs a strong Twitter, and this is another step to get there.“

Apple Loses Patent Suit That Could Cost Close to $1B

Apple lost phase one Tuesday of a lawsuit against it by a patent enforcement group that Business Insider once called one of the “most fearsome patent trolls” around—a loss that could cost up to $862 million in damages, Reuters reports. A US District Court jury decided Apple had violated a 1998 patent for technology that improves processor efficiency—a patent owned by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing division—by incorporating that technology into the A7, A8, and A8X processors found in its iPhone 5, 6, and 6 Plus models. The jury also found the patent is valid, a claim Apple unsuccessfully tried to take up with the US Patent and Trademark Office before. Presiding Judge William Conley broke the trial down into three phases: liability, damages, and whether Apple had willfully violated the patent, which could lead to more penalties.

Indeed, WARF had filed for triple damages because it said the patent infringement was “willful, intentional, and in conscious disregard of WARF’s right,“ per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. This isn’t the first time Apple has been sued for iPad/iPhone patent infringement—Boston University filed a complaint in 2013, the Verge reports—or the first time WARF has sued over this technology (Intel settled in 2009). WARF also sued Apple a second time last month over the newest A9 and A9X chips found in recently released iPhones and iPad Pro, per Reuters. Still, a Warwick Business School professor tells CNET that “parallel developments” by different companies means competing intellectual-property claims are “inevitable” and any damages Apple pays won’t “have a substantial or lasting impact on its earnings.“

Target Store Somehow Plays Porn Over Loudspeaker

Shoppers at a Target store in California say they had to cover their children’s ears when an X-rated soundtrack suddenly starting blasting out of the store’s audio system Wednesday morning. Shoppers at the San Jose outlet say it sounded like the soundtrack to a porn film starring two women. “I thought it was just a prank at first, but it didn’t stop; it just kept going,“ a mom tells the San Jose Mercury News. “I heard female voices making sexual noises and telling each other ‘Do this’ and ‘Do that.‘ My son asked me, ‘Why are they hurting the ladies?‘ And I said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s OK.‘“ She says the recording lasted at least 15 minutes and employees just stood around laughing.

A woman who was shopping with her twin babies tells KFOR that workers tried to stop the recording, which she says caused pandemonium. “Employees were running around everywhere, picking and hanging up phones, which worked for about two minutes, before it started up again,“ she says. “People were screaming at employees, videotaping, some laughing, some disgusted. It was terribly awkward.“ Target says it is “actively reviewing” the situation to make sure it doesn’t happen again, reports the Mercury News, which notes that the exact same thing happened in July at a Target nearly 200 miles away in San Luis Obispo.

Lucky Charms Goes Crazy With All-Marshmallow Cereal Box

Big news for fans of sugary breakfast cereals and social-media-driven brand promotions: Lucky Charms is giving people the chance to win “the unicorn of the cereal world,“ a box of Marshmallow Only Lucky Charms, People reports. According to General Mills, the contest is in response to the constant requests the company gets for an all-marshmallow box of the cereal. Also, Biz Markie is involved for some reason. To win one of only 10 boxes being made available, post a selfie of yourself holding an imaginary box of Lucky Charms to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag it #Lucky10Sweepstakes by Sunday. Or, you know, just buy one of these.

All-Day Breakfast Is Ruining Lives of McFranchisees

We’re a little over a week into McDonald’s’ all-day-breakfast gambit, and many franchisees already feel afternoon Egg McMuffins are as bad for their restaurants as they are for your gastrointestinal system, Business Insider reports. An analyst interviewed 29 McDonald’s franchisees owning approximately 226 restaurants—about 1.6% of the company’s US locations—and found widespread discontent, with one franchisee saying it’s been “erratic, distorted, disorganized.“ At the same time franchisees are eating the extra costs for new equipment and employees to handle all-day breakfast, they’re making less money thanks to the cheaper breakfast options. They also claim they’re losing customers because of slow service times and sub-par food thanks to “chaos in the kitchen.“

But it’s unlikely McDonald’s will be listening to its disenchanted franchisees any time soon. Bloomberg reports the following message was sent in an email to franchisees from McDonald’s’ US president this week: “The successful launch of All Day Breakfast proves that when we listen to and respond to our customers and align around a great execution plan, we will grow our business.“ McDonald’s is calling all-day breakfast—introduced October 6—a success, and it better hope it’s right. According to Bloomberg, the company is counting on your love of sausage biscuits to turn around nearly two years of declining sales.

AT&T CEO on Bizarre Reply to Customer: ‘We Blew It’

“We blew it, plain and simple.“ That’s AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson’s take on a bizarre reply a customer received from a lawyer after making a few suggestions on how the company could improve its business, reports the Los Angeles Times. Alfred Valrie, who describes himself as a “lifelong” AT&T customer, says he sent Stephenson an email proposing “unlimited data for DSL customers” and the resurrection of “text messaging plans like 1,000 messages for $10,“ just to be helpful. The response he received came from AT&T’s legal department and reads in part: “AT&T has a policy of not entertaining unsolicited offers to adopt, analyze, develop, license or purchase third-party intellectual property ... from members of the general public. We respectfully decline to consider your suggestion.“

“I just wanted to give him something to mull over,“ Valrie says. “I never thought I’d get a letter from a lawyer.“ AT&T aims to “treat our customers to a premium experience every time they interact with us,“ but “we don’t meet our high standards 100% of the time,“ Stephenson wrote in a letter to the Times, adding that he’s “corrected” the misstep. NBC News notes he didn’t specify what that correction was, but the Times suggests AT&T will take a softer approach going forward. A rep earlier explained the legalese, saying “we’ve had customers send us unsolicited ideas and then later threaten to take legal action, claiming we stole their ideas.“ T-Mobile CEO John Legere is on the attack anyway. “I interact with customers on a daily basis so I can hear their ideas firsthand,“ he says. “If they don’t want your ideas, we’ll take them!“ he tweeted. He later directed suggestions to a new email address: .

One Country Is Rapidly on Its Way to Losing Its Cash

There have been discussions of all financial transactions going digital for years, but only recently has it started to look like an eventual reality. Though CNN Money reported in June that Denmark looked to be closest to becoming cashless, alongside Sweden and Norway, researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm are reporting on AlphaGalileo that Sweden is at the front of the pack. “Our use of cash is small, and it’s decreasing rapidly,“ says study head and industrial technologist Niklas Arvidsson. His study cites the “embrace” of IT and “crackdown” on crime and terrorism as moving Sweden along. “At the offices which do handle banknotes and coins, the customer must explain where the cash comes from, according to the regulations aimed at money laundering and terrorist financing,“ Arvidsson says.

Already there are fewer than 80 billion Swedish crowns ($10 billion) in circulation, a more than 20% drop since 2009, and only about half of that is actually in regular use. Instead, many are now using the person-to-person transaction app Swish, which was created a few years ago by big Swedish and Danish banks. Some complications remain, including concern about security as well as access by the elderly, homeless, undocumented immigrants, and those in remote communities, but many banks say digital transactions allow for greater transparency and lower costs. Some banks won’t even accept cash, notes, and staff are instructed to file police reports if any cash transactions appear suspicious.

6 Companies That Are Awesome to Part-Timers

Extras aren’t just exclusive to full-time positions anymore. With a part-time job with one of these big companies, you’re in for some pretty awesome benefits. Wisebread, via Christian Science Monitor, identifies nine companies; here are six standouts:

  1. Starbucks: Workers who log at least 20 hours a week enjoy health-care coverage that typically covers things like hospitalization, lab tests, emergency care, prescriptions, and mental health treatment, plus dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage. There’s even adoption assistance.
  2. Whole Foods: On top of the killer 20% employee discount, part-time workers are eligible for “significant” health benefits, per Wisebread. Under the company’s “Personal Wellness” program, workers can also earn $1,800 a year to cover health expenses.
  3. UPS: “Amazing benefits,“ declares Wisebread. Indeed, here, all part-time workers get the same benefits slate as their full-time counterparts, which includes medical, dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage. The company also has a tuition assistance program.
  4. Costco: Once you hit 600 hours or 180 days of work, you’re eligible for health, dental, vision, and pharmacy coverage, plus childcare assistance and life insurance. Spouses and children can be enrolled, too.
  5. REI: Part-time workers under the REI Flex Plan pay just 15% of the premium for medical and dental coverage; that’s if you work 20 hours. Work only 15, and you’ll still pay only 40% of the premium. REI also offers prizes and discounts to employees who complete “health and stewardship activities.“
  6. Lowe’s: On your first day at Lowe’s, you’re eligible for medical, dental, vision, short-term disability, life insurance, critical illness, 401K, and an employee stock purchase plan.

Click for more from the list.

Hangovers Cost U.S. Employers $77B a Year

A splitting headache is exactly what too much drinking is causing America—both in the people who imbibe and in the US economy. A CDC study says that US employers lost $77 billion in 2010 thanks to workers’ impaired productivity due to excessive alcohol abuse—a number that jumps to almost $90 billion once other drinking-induced factors such as absenteeism are pulled into the mix, Bloomberg reports. And the study came up with an even more dire number for alcohol abuse’s effect on the US economy overall that same year: $249 billion, a number that includes not only the lost-productivity toll, but also spending on health care, crime, car crashes, and alcohol-caused deaths.

That headache seems to be getting worse. Back in 2006, the same cost to the US economy was $224 billion, outpacing inflation, per Bloomberg. “The increase in the costs of excessive drinking from 2006 to 2010 is concerning, particularly given the severe economic recession that occurred during these years,“ says Robert Brewer, one of the study’s authors, in the CDC release. “Effective prevention strategies can reduce excessive drinking and related costs in states and communities, but they are under used.“ To see how much your particular drinking habit contributes to the total cost, the Washington Post has a pull-down menu in its story.

S&P 500 Ends At Highest In Two Months On Upbeat Earnings

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The S&P 500 closed at its highest in two months on Thursday as stronger-than-expected earnings from several top companies, including McDonald’s, relieved investors’ concerns about the profit outlook.

Adding to the day’s optimism, ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank could extend its stimulus program beyond 2016 to boost euro zone growth and boost inflation closer to 2 percent.

McDonald’s (MCD.N) shares jumped 8.1 percent to $110.87, giving the Dow its biggest boost, after its quarterly results beat estimates as demand recovered in China.

EBay (EBAY.O) rose 13.9 percent to $27.58 after it reported better-than-expected results late on Wednesday.

Dow Chemical (DOW.N) rose 5.1 percent to $49.92 after its results, while the S&P materials index .SPLRCM jumped 2.8 percent and led the S&P sector gains along with the industrials .SPLRCI, also up 2.8 percent.

In another sign of diminished concerns, the CBOE Volatility Index .VIX - the market’s favored barometer of volatility - closed at a 2-month low.

“Corporate earnings certainly helped because the season started off sort of sluggish and you had some nice surprises today,“ said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer at North Star Investment Management Corp. in Chicago.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 320.55 points, or 1.87 percent, to 17,489.16, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 33.57 points, or 1.66 percent, to 2,052.51 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 79.93 points, or 1.65 percent, to 4,920.05.

Data on Thursday showed new claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by 3,000 to 259,000 last week, below the 265,000 expected, while existing home sales increased more than expected to an annual rate of 5.55 million units in September.

The Federal Reserve, which kept U.S. interest rates unchanged near zero in September, has said it will wait for signs of global economic resilience before pulling the trigger on its first rate hike in nearly a decade.

Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher. Only healthcare .SPXHC appeared immune to the upbeat mood, declining about 0.5 percent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,312 to 791, for a 2.92-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,777 issues rose and 1,001 fell for a 1.78-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 41 new 52-week highs and 9 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 82 new highs and 91 new lows.

How You Pay Your Bills May Affect Your Credit

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Lenders are no longer just interested in whether you pay your bills or not. Increasingly, they are looking at how you pay those bills to determine whether they want you as a customer.

Credit reports now show if you regularly pay your credit cards in full every month - making you a low-risk “transactor” - or if you are a higher-risk “revolver” who carries a balance.

Some lenders use the information to determine what types of credit cards and loans to market to people, while others are starting to use the distinctions in decisions about whether to grant credit at all, as well as what rates and terms to offer.

Fannie Mae said on Monday it would require mortgage lenders to use this so-called “trended credit data” in loan decisions started in mid-2016. The change could help people with lower credit scores secure mortgages if they have a history of paying off their cards.

Separating transactors from revolvers has become “the hot credit report attribute du jour” for lenders and researchers, said credit expert John Ulzheimer, who has worked for credit scoring company FICO and credit bureau Equifax.

Lenders are constantly looking for better ways to assess risk, and payment trend data seems to offer insights that traditional credit scoring models do not, said Alex Johnson, senior analyst for Mercator Advisory Group, a payment and banking industry consultant.

“I would be surprised if there were any large banks that aren’t actively evaluating how to use this information,“ Johnson said. “This data tells a much richer story, because you can see the trends over time.“

That is in contrast to the credit scores currently used in most lending decisions, which do not distinguish between people who carry balances on credit cards and those who pay them off. The latest versions of the leading FICO credit scoring formula and its main rival, the VantageScore, do not incorporate payment trend data, those companies confirmed.

The three major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, added payment patterns to credit reports two to three years ago, and researchers soon discovered that the differences in payment patterns are “very predictive” in determining who will default, Ulzheimer said.

“Revolvers are many times riskier,“ Ulzheimer said. “It makes a huge difference.“

Revolvers are three times more likely to default on new credit cards and auto loans than transactors, and five times more likely to default on current cards, a study by credit bureau TransUnion found. “Partial” payers - those who actively pay down their balances - are typically less risky than “minimum” payers who pay only what they’re required to pay each month, a follow-up TransUnion study found.

Credit bureau Experian has incorporated payment trend data in its Trended Solutions products to help lenders spot risk and more precisely target borrowers with credit card offers based on their behavior over time, said Paul DeSaulniers, Experian senior director for risk scoring and trended data solutions.

Equifax has a similar product called Dimensions.

TransUnion, meanwhile, sells lenders a product called CreditVision that lenders have started using for credit decisions as well as marketing, said Mike Mondelli, senior vice president of TransUnion Alternative Data Services. All three bureaus also sell payment pattern data to lenders who create their own custom scores.

TransUnion recently introduced a second version of its product, called CreditVision Link, that also factors in alternative non-credit data such as checking accounts, address changes and magazine subscriptions to identify people who may be good credit risks but who are overlooked or downgraded by traditional formulas.

Using payment patterns and alternative data, the formula identified 23 million people as “prime” or “near prime” - that is, good risks - who were categorized as “nonprime” or not good risks under traditional credit scores, Mondelli said.

Both CreditVision products look at payments and balance data over 30 months, rather than a one-month snapshot, to determine if carrying a large balance is an anomaly. The formula also adds points to scores for consistently responsible payment patterns over an 82 month time horizon, compared to 48 months in traditional scores.

A lender may have a credit score cutoff of 660, for example, which would mean someone with a traditional score of 659 would be turned down, Mondelli said. But the CreditVision score may add a few points for regularly paying off or paying down credit card balances.

If your score is boosted to 665, you get approved. If you’re boosted well above the cutoff, “you may get a better offer” such as a lower interest rate, Mondelli said.

Using payment patterns this way is not the norm yet. But Mondelli predicted most if not all lenders would soon be adopting it as a best practice.

“It’s becoming much more mainstream,“ said Mike Mondelli “Clearly there’s value in looking deeper.“

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