Vermont ranks as one of lowest credit risk states

With Mississippi as the highest and Vermont the third lowest, the TransUnion Credit Risk Index, a statistic developed to measure the changes in average consumer credit risk within various geographies, increased 1.98 percent from 124.79 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 127.26 in the first quarter of 2009. On a year-over-year basis, the Credit Risk Index increased 7.10 percent (from 118.83 in the first quarter of 2008), the largest increase for that time period in this decade. The Credit Risk Index is defined as the weighted average probability of 90-day delinquency or worse among consumers in a given region relative to the nation as a whole.On a state basis, Mississippi ranks as the riskiest state in the nation with a Credit Risk Index of 166.45. It is followed closely by Texas (162.59), Nevada (158.97), South Carolina (158.76) and Louisiana (153.84). The least risky states include: North Dakota (82.02), Minnesota (88.53), Vermont (91.82), South Dakota (94.75) and Iowa (95.26).The states that experienced the largest quarterly changes included Nevada (4.25 percent increase), Arizona (4.06 percent increase) and California (3.98 percent increase). Though Louisiana’s Credit Risk Index is the fifth highest in the nation, it is the only state that experienced a drop on a quarterly basis of .03 percent. Arkansas experienced a minimal 0.01 percent gain while Vermont increased 0.52 percent.On a year-over-year basis, Arizona (14.82 percent increase), Nevada (14.38 percent) and California (13.82 percent) had the highest percentage increases. The three states with the lowest yearly percent increases included, Alaska (1.51 percent increase), Vermont (2.17 percent increase) and Kentucky (2.85 percent increase).”The Credit Risk Index is a true barometer of today’s economy, and the first quarter of 2009 indicates that the inherent level of credit risk within the U.S. is now 27.26 percent higher than the level reflected in TransUnion’s consumer credit database at the conclusion of 1998,” said Chet Wiermanski, global chief scientist at TransUnion. “Credit Risk Index data suggest that the growth in consumer credit risk has slowed during the past quarter, a positive note. However, the index remains at an all-time historical high, indicating that delinquencies and foreclosures will continue to rise in the coming months.””It is apparent that many of the states experiencing the highest increases in credit risk are the same when looking at the Credit Risk Index statistic on both a quarterly and yearly basis,” said Wiermanski. “This leads TransUnion to believe that consumers in these states will experience prolonged systemic difficulties in both in their ability to satisfactorily repay their existing credit obligations and in their ability to acquire new credit.”While an individual credit score can be quite powerful and accurate in predicting the probability of delinquency for an individual, the average credit score for a specific geography or customer segment does not accurately portray the level of risk existing within that footprint or segment to the same degree as TransUnion’s Credit Risk Index. This is because most credit scores are built on a non-linear scale, so averaging scores does not yield the correct measure of underlying probability of default. Credit Risk Index is a great instrument for gaining insight into the potential impact of external factors on the credit risk and rate of default within a given region, or for a given population segment, precisely because it accounts for the non-linearity of the underlying credit score,” continued Wiermanski.The Credit Risk Index uses the fourth quarter of 1998 as a baseline for comparison. Therefore it measures changes in consumer credit score distributions relative to the national distribution and delinquency rates as a whole at the end of 1998. This is considered by TransUnion as a representative year of credit performance within the usual dynamic of the historical credit cycle. A value of more than 100 represents a higher level of relative risk.TransUnion’s Credit Risk Index reflects the distribution of consumer credit risk as measured by TransUnion’s TransRisk Account Management Credit Risk Model and is a key metric within TransUnion’s Trend Data database. For comparison purposes, the Credit Risk Index in recent years has generally ranged between 110 and 120, experiencing a one- or two-point shift between quarters.TransUnion’s Trend Data databaseThe source of the underlying data used for this analysis is TransUnion’s Trend Data, a one-of-a-kind database consisting of 27 million anonymous consumer records randomly sampled every quarter from TransUnion’s national consumer credit database. Each record contains more than 200 credit variables that illustrate consumer credit usage and performance. Since 1992, TransUnion has been aggregating this information at the county, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), state and national levels.www.transunion.com/trenddata(link is external)About TransUnionAs a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs associates in more than 25 countries on five continents. www.transunion.com/business(link is external)Website: http://www.transunion.com(link is external) Source: TransUnion. CHICAGO, July 9, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — read more

Rwandans prepare for a referendum on third presidential term

first_imgSupporters of the petition said Mr Kagame was the right person to lead the country of 11.8 million for another term.President Kagame has been in power since 2000 after he led a rebel army that ended the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which about 800,000 people were killed.Kagame himself hasn’t said whether he’ll stand if deemed eligible for elections scheduled for 2017.However he has said he is open to persuasion that the two-term limit in the constitution needs to be changed, and a petition to that effect has collected 3.8 million signatures.MPs  voted unanimously on Tuesday to back the petition, adding that a referendum would be called on whether to amend the constitution. Some MP’s say they have already started the referendum process.The opposition has expressed it’s displeasure over the call for the referendum to change the constitution in favor of President Kagame.Kagame’s government is credited with turning around Rwanda’s economy in the years since the genocide, but critics say he is an authoritarian ruler who does not tolerate opposition.Many of his former comrades have fled the country, saying their lives are threatened.If term limits are removed and Kagame runs again, he would join a growing list of regional leaders whose governments have jettisoned presidential term limits.In 2005, Ugandan lawmakers removed term limits from the constitution, allowing President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election in 2006 and 2011. He is expected to run again in 2016. Rwanda is now preparing for a referendum on a proposed constitutional amendment to scrap presidential term limits and consequently allow President Paul Kagame to seek a third term.This follows its parliament’s approval on Tuesday, of a petition filed by over 3 million citizens.The petition urged for the change in the country’s constitution, to remove the article that limits the presidential tenure to two terms. Paul Kagamelast_img read more

White relieved to make Test debut

first_imgNathan White has admitted he feared he would never realise his dream for Test match rugby during two injury-ridden spells. Marty Moore will provide the immediate back-up if he recovers from shoulder trouble in time as expected, leaving White battling it out with Michael Bent for the last prop berth in Ireland’s 21-man World Cup line-up. Bent’s ability to prop on both sides of the scrum offers the kind of versatility Schmidt has already revealed he craves, but White’s unfussy solidity may yet see him trump his main rival. White himself was simply happy to have made his long-overdue Test debut, conceding he “felt like a kid again” on his international bow. “Being involved in November and in the Six Nations in the camps, that definitely helped me in terms of knowing what was expected on the field,” said White. “I felt like a kid again myself, especially when you’ve got Paul O’Connell out there, a guy I’ve watched for a fair while. “So I just really wanted to cherish the moment. “If Joe’s happy with what I’ve done on the field then hopefully I’ll get the call to go back into camp on Sunday night. “I’m just going week to week really at the moment, hopefully I can go back again. “Marty Moore is coming back, and Michael Bent covered tighthead last week so there’s plenty of options there.” Head coach Joe Schmidt kept faith with the 33-year-old, however, and his impressive cameo off the bench on Saturday has boosted his chances of squeezing into Ireland’s World Cup squad. “When I injured my arm back in November that was very disappointing, but then to get fit and injure my back, there were definitely a few demons,” said White. “Connacht offered me a new contract though, so that really made me determined to get myself right and do right by them. “And this opportunity came along, and that’s just great. “I don’t know how many coaches would show the kind of faith that Joe has shown in me. “He’s backed me and given me a crack, and it’s just fantastic to have had that chance. “There were dark days in rehab but the carrot was always to be in the position to play in a game like this, so it’s great to have done it.” Leinster stalwart Mike Ross remains the only player to feature in every Test in the Joe Schimdt era, and has the starting tighthead spot nailed down for next month’s World Cup. Connacht’s tighthead prop became Ireland’s third oldest debutant of all time in Saturday’s 28-22 victory over Scotland in Dublin, then conceded he fretted his Test chance had passed him by. New Zealand-born White was all set for his Test debut in Ireland’s autumn series in November, only to suffer an arm injury in training that then required surgery. Press Associationlast_img read more