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a Federal Reserve bank (Photo: Federal Reserve)

(Bloomberg) – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York warned that credit scores — the all-powerful number that can determine if a consumer is able to qualify for a loan, rent a home or even buy car insurance — might have gotten less reliable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Scores for homeowners who took advantage of payment relief on their mortgages actually rose an average of 14 points over the course of the pandemic, according to a new analysis by the New York Fed. That was a bigger jump than the seven-point increase seen among borrowers that didn’t take forbearance on their loans.

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