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Accepted Paper:

On being creditworthy: introducing credit scoring into Israeli households  
Hadas Weiss

Paper short abstract:

Is creditworthiness really as worthy as it is made out to be? I will address the allure of creditworthiness and its implications through an analysis of the debates surrounding the introduction of a consumer credit scoring system in Israel.

Paper long abstract:

A proposed bill to introduce a centralized consumer credit scoring system in Israel is now entering its final stages. If and when it passes, every individual in Israel will be assigned a formal credit score based on a variety of past financial transactions constituting his or her so-called credit history. As in similar systems elsewhere (like the USA or the UK), it will determine her ability to receive credit, as well as the price that this credit will cost her.

In this paper, I analyze the official report published by the committee charged with drafting this bill, as well as the public discourses and controversies surrounding it. Unpacking some of the goals and presuppositions of both its proponents and its opponents, I argue that despite and throughout their disagreements over how a credit scoring system will impact such challenges as social inequality, financial exclusion, privacy protection and the disciplinary affects of a so-called "audit culture", they share a common and pervasive susceptibility to the allure of being creditworthy. Making explicit some of the structural variables that creditworthiness is implicated in, I explain what makes it so self-evident, and question whether it really is as worthy as it is made out to be.

Panel P068
Everyday finance
  Session 1