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Equifax Unveils New Analytic Dataset

Equifax Inc. has introduced Analytic Dataset, a new analytic tool that provides borrower-level data in an anonymous and non-aggregated format. The dataset provides key information for researchers and modelers such as credit risk scores, geography, debt balances and delinquency status at the loan level for all types of consumer loan obligations and asset classes.

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With this new solution, investors and other market participants have the ability to better model delinquency, default, loss severity and prepayment, as well as the ability to more accurately value securities and understand broader consumer credit trends. Asset Backed Securities (ABS) and Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) investors, issuers, traders, and ratings agencies researchers can use the tool to analyze and model consumer payment performance across a variety of asset classes such as auto, credit card, mortgage and unsecured personal loans. Also, better modeling may give investors better predictive power to price risk and thus finance consumer debt at the best possible rates.

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“This data is one of the most important advances in consumer modeling and analytics,” said Professor Tomasz Piskorski, Columbia Business School.

Analytic Dataset is created from an unbiased ten percent statistical sample of the U.S. credit population across all geographic boundaries, with historic data starting in 2005. It provides insights into the credit health and payment performance of U.S. consumers over time and across various economic cycles.

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“When businesses or government entities are able to apply segmentation and perform analytics by credit quality or asset class, they can better determine important factors such as how consumers prioritize payments and the impact of behaviors of given loan types on other forms of credit,” said Geoffrey Hickman, Managing Director of Government Credit and Capital Markets at Equifax. “This in turn gives them the ability to drive a deeper level of understanding and improve modeling efforts.”

Analytic Dataset is available now for direct delivery from Equifax. Additionally, the solution can be accessed through 1010data. “1010data is excited to expand our decade-long partnership with Equifax by hosting their new Analytic Dataset. This is the largest and most powerful consumer modeling set across all consumer asset types,” said Perry DeFelice, Director of 1010data. “The combined Equifax/1010data hosted solution eliminates the burdens traditionally associated with managing and analyzing data of this size and complexity by providing direct browser-based access to every data element, at its most granular level, for unlimited analytical flexibility.”

The Analytic Dataset solution, which is available beginning today, enables entities with little or no historical data in multiple consumer asset classes to quickly acquire insights that can materially improve their business prospects.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

What Day-1 Certainty Showed Lenders About Workflow Efficiency

Thanks to a combination of factors, first mortgages have seen two consecutive years of growth: regulatory guidelines and smarter lending have strengthened the quality of loans; the unemployment rate in the U.S. is at its lowest point in a decade, wage growth is emerging, consumer confidence in the economy is up. Data from the Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends report showed that 8.46 million new first mortgages were originated in 2016, a year-over-year increase of 13.7 percent. In that same time, the total balance of first mortgage originations in that time was 2.08 trillion, an 18.8 percent increase. In one of its U.S. Economic Outlooks, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed year-over-year increases for:

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Existing Home Prices: 6.9 percent

Existing Home Sales: 4.9 percent;

New Single-Family Sales: 17.1 percent;

Housing Starts: 7.7 percent;

Since being introduced, Day-1 Certainty has demonstrated the power of workflow efficiency and lenders have caught on quickly. The ability to get a borrower into the workflow – over the phone or on a website – and confirm that they are a W-2 employee, pull credit, verify all of the essential information and see bank statements has revolutionized the origination process because it moves qualified borrowers down the pipeline much faster. It’s something we’re still all getting used to, but so far, these capabilities have established a couple of key takeaways for lenders:

A Matter of “Good, Better, Best” (not “Right or Wrong”)

Lenders are still trying to figure out where verifications should fit in their respective workflows and processes and they’re having a tough time. Some have never used manual verifications and many of those using instant verifications are applying it within operations, some use it, but not until 14-20 days in the loan cycle. Paystubs and W-2’s are still being requested up front. Make no mistake, lenders want to get rep and warrant relief as fast as possible and they truly desire to make the borrower happy by providing a seamless mortgage process, but there’s a lot of concern with how to roll this out across branches and origination channels.

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The good news: workflows can be modeled to fit a specific business. Granted, the application of verifications will differ between online, consumer-direct and retail and each lender will need to determine the best approach; figuring out where the right place is for you in your processes is what is important. Generally speaking, pulling verification earlier in the process is better than doing it later in the process, as many lenders still do today.

Although there’s going to be a learning curve, verifications will make things easier for lenders and borrowers, which brings me to the next point…

The Borrower Experience Determines Success

Lenders have historically had to ask borrowers, sometimes repeatedly, to produce document after document after document. Thankfully, the mortgage industry has gained so many efficiencies as a result of Day-1 Certainty, annihilating those inconveniences. Lenders that are performing verifications earlier in process are helping boost customer service, which is a very effective selling point. As you’ve likely seen, some lenders’ advertisements focus on telling the prospective borrowers that all they have to do is go online and apply; no need to deal with all of the paperwork, it’s all up front. Without the need to collect paystubs, bank statements or W-2s, lenders are closing faster and consumers are happier.

Telling a customer they don’t have to go home and gather multiple documents makes for a better lending experience and earns you the reputation of being a lender that caters to the borrower, which leads to more referrals.

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Moving in the Right Direction

Data and analytics are changing the way the mortgage industry functions and everything is moving faster – prospecting, qualifying, verifying, buying and selling. Improved access to essential verification data is helping lenders connect with borrowers through every channel earlier than ever. It’s impressive to think that today, all a prospective borrower needs to do is download an app, provide some basic information, and, within minutes, be approved for a residential mortgage.

Because of these developments, we also need to speed up the learning process for where verifications will appropriately fit in lenders’ respective models. A workflow that suits one origination strategy won’t necessarily fit another, so focus internally to reveal the best way verifications can be implemented to deliver faster ROI and an unparalleled borrower experience.

About The Author

Seth Kronemeyer

Seth Kronemeyer is vice president and vertical-marketing leader at Equifax Mortgage Services. He is responsible for pricing, product management, product marketing, campaign management, and mergers and acquisitions. Kronemeyer brings more than 15 years of industry experience to his position at Equifax, including marketing, sales, business-development and e-commerce expertise. He can be reached atseth.kronemeyer@equifax.com.

Stop Obsessing

Millennials, millennials, millennials. Within the past five years, the term has invaded our vernacular and been used to sweepingly define a segment of the population that is apparently begging to be figured out by marketing experts in virtually every industry. But this demographic isn’t some unsolvable, complex equation. Marketers must simply work to communicate and meet the needs of each subset.

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A 20-25 year old is going to have a much different set of expectations when it comes to speed and convenience; for the most part, a world without the internet access is not one with which they’re familiar and mobility is an expectation, not a preference. In contrast, the 33-37 year old segment was coming of age at a time when the evolution of consumer technologies started taking off. As they have progressed into adulthood and into their careers, digital and mobile tools have ignited an appreciation for an ever-increasing level of ease. And then in between these two groups, 26-32 year olds became familiar with the internet as adolescents and developed an expectation that information should be easily accessible. The common denominator is convenience and the path of least resistance. My question is: are lenders equipped to provide that path?

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The industry has made significant progress in creating a frictionless, digital mortgage process. The move toward automation of income, employment and asset verification has already reduced lenders’ reliance on W-2’s, pay stubs and any other documentation that traditionally slowed underwriting. Even the manual verification process has become much more streamlined, provided that the lender is working with a comprehensive and trusted partner. In addition, the introduction of trended credit data allows lenders to to discern who, among two borrowers with identical credit scores, poses a higher risk. This facilitates more accurate and intelligent lending decisions, improving the quality of portfolios and contributing to the continuous decline in delinquencies. The pieces are available for lenders to deliver the level of convenience that will satisfy millennial homebuyers. So what’s next?

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First, originators need to become adept at converting the data and analytics into actionable components of the digital mortgage workflow to truly support the end-to-end origination process. If the borrower can use the app to transfer documents and close the mortgage, but still needs to come to the branch in person to get approved for the loan, there’s a good chance that the process will end before it even begins. Alternatively, if the borrower can get approved for a loan digitally, but needs to complete the rest of the process manually, it’s going to create friction and result in losing the business. In other words, don’t try to fool anyone.

Once the operational pieces are in place, the next thing that a lender must do is create a marketing strategy that clearly communicates and educates consumers on the value of the digital mortgage process. Shout it from the rooftops! Diving deeper, lenders must know where the borrower is in his or her respective lifecycle. Someone just out of college will be focusing on starting a career and saving money (and potentially paying down student loans). It’s unlikely that a home purchase is in the immediate future, but it is certainly on the horizon, so it’s important to establish that relationship so you’ll be the lender of choice when the time comes. An individual that is several years removed from college may have saved diligently and based on other financial triggers (paying down various loans, expanding their lines of credit, etc.), they may be a great prospect for a lender to get the dialogue started. Finally, older millennials may already be homeowners, but could also be prime prospects for home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) for home improvements or additions. As rates continue increasing, HELOCs will become more popular products thanks to the low cost of equity extraction and the ability for the borrower to tap into the funds as needed, instead of all at once.

As you can see, there is plenty of information available to lenders that will reveal where a prospective borrower is in the journey to homeownership. Supplementing that, geographical data shows the areas where low- to moderate-priced housing is plentiful or where buying is a more economic decision than renting. And as rates continue increasing, time is of the essence; it’s important to maximize the largest opportunities in each market while they’re still there.

I’m not the only one who has witnessed the evolutionary trajectory of the mortgage industry and how it has coincided with the increasing demand for convenience. So let’s stop trying to figure out millennials. The frictionless mortgage process is a reality and the tools are already there to help lenders accurately identify and appropriately market to borrowers of all ages – it’s time for us to put all of the pieces together and grow the business.

About The Author

Seth Kronemeyer

Seth Kronemeyer is vice president and vertical-marketing leader at Equifax Mortgage Services. He is responsible for pricing, product management, product marketing, campaign management, and mergers and acquisitions. Kronemeyer brings more than 15 years of industry experience to his position at Equifax, including marketing, sales, business-development and e-commerce expertise. He can be reached atseth.kronemeyer@equifax.com.

Let’s Stop Trying To “Figure Out” Millennials

Millennials, millennials, millennials. Within the past five years, the term has invaded our vernacular and been used to sweepingly define a segment of the population that is apparently begging to be figured out by marketing experts in virtually every industry. But this demographic isn’t some unsolvable, complex equation. Marketers must simply work to communicate and meet the needs of each subset.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
A 20-25 year old is going to have a much different set of expectations when it comes to speed and convenience; for the most part, a world without the internet access is not one with which they’re familiar and mobility is an expectation, not a preference. In contrast, the 33-37 year old segment was coming of age at a time when the evolution of consumer technologies started taking off. As they have progressed into adulthood and into their careers, digital and mobile tools have ignited an appreciation for an ever-increasing level of ease. And then in between these two groups, 26-32 year olds became familiar with the internet as adolescents and developed an expectation that information should be easily accessible. The common denominator is convenience and the path of least resistance. My question is: are lenders equipped to provide that path?

Featured Sponsors:

 
The industry has made significant progress in creating a frictionless, digital mortgage process. The move toward automation of income, employment and asset verification has already reduced lenders’ reliance on W-2’s, pay stubs and any other documentation that traditionally slowed underwriting. Even the manual verification process has become much more streamlined, provided that the lender is working with a comprehensive and trusted partner. In addition, the introduction of trended credit data allows lenders to to discern who, among two borrowers with identical credit scores, poses a higher risk. This facilitates more accurate and intelligent lending decisions, improving the quality of portfolios and contributing to the continuous decline in delinquencies. The pieces are available for lenders to deliver the level of convenience that will satisfy millennial homebuyers. So what’s next?

Featured Sponsors:

 
First, originators need to become adept at converting the data and analytics into actionable components of the digital mortgage workflow to truly support the end-to-end origination process. If the borrower can use the app to transfer documents and close the mortgage, but still needs to come to the branch in person to get approved for the loan, there’s a good chance that the process will end before it even begins. Alternatively, if the borrower can get approved for a loan digitally, but needs to complete the rest of the process manually, it’s going to create friction and result in losing the business. In other words, don’t try to fool anyone.

Once the operational pieces are in place, the next thing that a lender must do is create a marketing strategy that clearly communicates and educates consumers on the value of the digital mortgage process. Shout it from the rooftops! Diving deeper, lenders must know where the borrower is in his or her respective lifecycle. Someone just out of college will be focusing on starting a career and saving money (and potentially paying down student loans). It’s unlikely that a home purchase is in the immediate future, but it is certainly on the horizon, so it’s important to establish that relationship so you’ll be the lender of choice when the time comes. An individual that is several years removed from college may have saved diligently and based on other financial triggers (paying down various loans, expanding their lines of credit, etc.), they may be a great prospect for a lender to get the dialogue started. Finally, older millennials may already be homeowners, but could also be prime prospects for home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) for home improvements or additions. As rates continue increasing, HELOCs will become more popular products thanks to the low cost of equity extraction and the ability for the borrower to tap into the funds as needed, instead of all at once.

As you can see, there is plenty of information available to lenders that will reveal where a prospective borrower is in the journey to homeownership. Supplementing that, geographical data shows the areas where low- to moderate-priced housing is plentiful or where buying is a more economic decision than renting. And as rates continue increasing, time is of the essence; it’s important to maximize the largest opportunities in each market while they’re still there.

I’m not the only one who has witnessed the evolutionary trajectory of the mortgage industry and how it has coincided with the increasing demand for convenience. So let’s stop trying to figure out millennials. The frictionless mortgage process is a reality and the tools are already there to help lenders accurately identify and appropriately market to borrowers of all ages – it’s time for us to put all of the pieces together and grow the business.

About The Author

Seth Kronemeyer

Seth Kronemeyer is vice president and vertical-marketing leader at Equifax Mortgage Services. He is responsible for pricing, product management, product marketing, campaign management, and mergers and acquisitions. Kronemeyer brings more than 15 years of industry experience to his position at Equifax, including marketing, sales, business-development and e-commerce expertise. He can be reached atseth.kronemeyer@equifax.com.

Keep Improving

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In this market, or in any market really, you can’t rest on your laurels. You have to keep improving. For example, Equifax just launched its Equifax Ignite application to challenge the traditional “one size fits all approach” with an this suite of solutions that provides fast, configurable and actionable data to solve critical challenges and help drive growth strategies. Offering insights through three distinct delivery channels, this “tailored for you” approach was designed with various key users in mind – from marketing senior executives to data scientists.

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The driving force behind Equifax Ignite is the company’s established leadership in providing insights through powerful data and analytics solutions that help propel critical business decisions. Equifax Ignite embodies the company’s deep expertise in big data, specialized risk, fraud and marketing analytics, as well as its vast portfolio of directly sourced, directly measured data from the credit, finance, and telecommunications industries. Equifax Ignite delivers deep insights through an extensive data portfolio including trended data, risk scoring models and the linking and keying of disparate sets of data.

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“Harnessing the power of big data poses a tremendous challenge for businesses,” said Trey Loughran, Chief Marketing Officer at Equifax. “Whether it’s providing the latest in data visualization through an app or access to our differentiated data, advanced analytical tools, and technology, Equifax Ignite brings data to life and helps drive businesses forward by helping the end user become a data-driven organization.”

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As an example, with Equifax Ignite, a bank could leverage key insights to help assess risk at various decision points relevant to their unique goals. From more accurately targeting and screening new customers through market intelligence and alternative data, to creating risk models and monitoring risk scores over time, the user is able to access the vast array of insights available, using leading-edge analytic techniques.

“Equifax Ignite redefines access to data and speed to market,” said Prasanna Dhore, Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Equifax. “There is a paradigm shift happening: the market needs more tailored data solutions that don’t take months to deliver. Generic models aren’t relevant to many businesses’ needs and custom models and diagnostics simply take too long.  Equifax Ignite meets market demand through a frictionless process that reduces building, testing and deployment from months to days.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

1.5 Million U.S. Consumers Annually Could Increase Access To Credit Driven By New Data Innovation

Equifax’s December 2016 Consumer Credit Impact analysis found that trended credit data used alongside a consumer’s traditional credit report could improve access to credit and/or loan terms for up to 1.5 million consumers on an annual basis.

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Trended credit data provides up to 24 months of a borrower’s payment patterns, and offers a historical perspective of specific payment behavior – including scheduled payments, actual payments and past balances.  This expanded, two-year, granular view of the consumer gives the lender the opportunity to extract meaningful insights to help predict future behavior around credit.

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Trended credit data was first introduced into the marketplace in September of 2016 as part of the mortgage underwriting process in partnership with Fannie Mae.  Prior to its introduction, when assessing a potential homeowner’s credit report, mortgage lenders historically had access to an individual’s total outstanding balance of credit, utilization and overall credit availability as part of a consumer’s traditional credit report. The report did not offer details on whether payments serviced all or part of an individual’s debt or if patterns existed in the consumer’s balance utilization.

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As an example, one consumer might pay off their balance monthly or pay more than the minimum amount due. While another consumer might make only the minimum payment due almost every month, yet still on time. Assuming both their credit histories and loan characteristics are otherwise about the same, including the fact that they both pay on time, the consumer that pays off their balance monthly or pays more than the minium amount due would typically be considered a lower credit risk based on their trended data attributes.

The Equifax December 2016 Consumer Credit Impact analysis found that on a yearly basis the addition of the new Trended credit data could mean an approximate increase of 4% or 267,000 more mortgages being issued to consumers who may have been previously ineligible.  For HELOCs, approximately 65,000 more accounts or a 4.1% more lines of credit could be issued to consumers. Auto loans are expected to see the most significant impact with an anticipated 1.1 million more auto loans either being issued or receiving more favorable terms.

“Giving weight to how borrowers pay off credit debt puts more power in their hands to manage their credit evaluation.” said Peter Maynard, senior vice president Global Analytics at Equifax. “New ways of assessing consumer credit behavior through unique insights is something we are continuing to develop at Equifax, and opportunities to expand credit to consumers and mitigate for risk for lenders make these type of approaches solid ones for the entire marketplace.”

Equifax expects an increasing reliance on credit data insights like trended credit data particularly as some industries, like the the auto sector, settle into what some analysts view as more of a post-recession norm.  For these lenders, it will be vital to leverage as many insights about consumer debt behavior as possible to more confidently assess risk for a stable portfolio performance in support of a healthy loan marketplace.
Over the last 10 years, Equifax has focused on utilizing the data it has on hand to support the sustainability of the financial marketplace, as well as the needs of creditworthy consumers. Consumer credit data is the most accurate way to assess a consumer’s financial health and a useful tool in assessing current economic performance. Equifax is working to revolutionize consumer credit information to enhance its offerings in support of consumers and economies around the world.

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Equifax And Fannie Mae Enhance Validation Practices

Equifax’s employment verification services, provided by Equifax Workforce Solutions (a business unit of Equifax Inc.) became available Dec. 10 as part of the Fannie Mae DU validation service. Equifax will now also offer asset verification services, available through its alliance with asset technology service provider AccountChek Company, LLC.

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The employment and asset verification services join the instant and manual income verification services and the IRS tax transcript fulfilment service that were made available through the same program as of Oct. 24.

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Integration of these verification services comes at a time when mortgage lenders are increasingly looking at ways to improve the customer experience, while limiting their risk. The automation of income and employment verification can help to reduce underwriting cycle times by lessening lenders’ reliance on applicant provided W-2s, pay stubs and other documentation.

The IRS tax transcript fulfilment services aids lenders in retrieving tax transcripts directly from the IRS and can provide added data around a consumer’s additional sources of income.

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“The mortgage lending industry has never seen employment and income verification services backed by an unparalleled database and packaged together with asset verification services to support their underwriting needs – there is no doubt this is the new standard,” said Craig Crabtree, general manager of Equifax Mortgage Services. “Inclusion of this data in support of the verifications process within Fannie’s DU validation service will offer the mortgage industry a way to improve its process and help to mitigate risk.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Equifax: Q1 Volume Increases

Equifax Inc. has released its May 2016 National Consumer Credit Trends Report, which shows among other findings, that total mortgage volume increased in Q1 2016, compared to opening quarters in previous years.

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Total new accounts and year-over-year increases for the first quarter of 2016 include:

>>Home equity installment loans: 182,400, an increase of 23.5 percent and an eight-year high for an opening quarter;

>>First mortgages: 1.86 million, an increase of 10.3 percent; and

>>Home equity lines of credit (HELOC): 314,400, an increase of 10.2 percent.

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Similarly, the latest data shows that lending to borrowers with subprime credit scores (consumers with an Equifax Risk Score of 620 or below) – as a share of total lending – has remained consistent for the third consecutive year. New first mortgage accounts to subprime borrowers during Q1 of 2015-2016 have increased on a consistent basis alongside that of prime lending, with approximately 95 percent accounting for prime loans and 5 percent accounting for subprime loans.

“The first quarter of 2016 was a strong one for mortgage lending and underwriting practices appear to have maintained their rigor over the last three years.” said Amy Crews Cutts, chief economist for Equifax. “We anticipate that the second quarter of 2016 will maintain this trend. And later this year, the much-anticipated addition of trended credit data to the mortgage underwriting process will help to strenghten the marketplace further by helping to statistically separate lower risk borrowers from those presenting higher risk.”

About The Author

Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Lenders, Get Ready For The Next Big Thing: Trended Data

For as long as I’ve been in the mortgage and credit industry – nearly 30 years – lenders have relied on the tri-merge credit report to help evaluate home loan applicants. This static report provides a snapshot in time regarding the borrower’s repayment behavior and, specifically, if he or she pays on time and whether any delinquencies are on file. Conspicuously absent from this report, however, is any meaningful data about how an individual consumer pays. That is, until now.

Given the current lending environment, I believe that trended data represents the next big thing in lending. For example, trended data helps lenders differentiate between a consumer with a large credit card balance that pays in full every month (a “transactor”) versus a consumer with a large credit card balance that pays on time each month, but only the minimum payment (a “revolver”). In providing this level of detail, lenders are in a position to go beyond the credit score in their decisioning. Lenders on both the primary and secondary market are going to be able to see trends in consumer behavior in a way that they have never seen it before. They’ll be able to view 24-month balances and payments on credit cards, auto loans and other traditional tradelines, to gain insights on both payment history and type over time, to identify who is truly paying down their debt on a monthly basis. For lenders, the access to this information in their automated underwriting systems may mean a greater potential for market expansion. The degree of expansion will likely depend on how the lenders adjust to the data, but the bottom line is that this data may help lenders close more loans.

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From an industry standpoint, the wheels are already in motion. Credit bureaus and resellers will be able to view the data as of February 23, 2016 and will be required to begin accessing the reports as of April 1, 2016. Underneath the traditional snapshot tradelines will be the trended data, which will look different visually, but will be more data rich. I encourage lenders to familiarize themselves with the reports now and use this time to consider asking questions. The good news is that there will be plenty of resources available to help lenders read the documents and interpret the information, in addition to a host of FAQs. This should help prepare the market for the release of Desktop Underwriter® 10.0, which is slated for late June 2016. In addition to providing lenders with plenty of time to get up to speed with the use of trended data, the good news is that this timing ensures that reports can be reissued without having to re-pull credit. This will help with a smooth transition and prevent lenders from having to conduct multiple credit pulls due to two different versions of reports.

I applaud the industry’s proactive approach to integrating this trended data and giving lenders the opportunity to get comfortable with it prior to its use in decisioning (instead of just waiting to execute when DU 10.0 is released). No doubt, the migration over the next few months will be a very busy time and it’s been exciting to watch the evolution of credit reports, which haven’t experienced this level of change in almost three decades. Encouragingly for many in the industry, this is potentially the first of many steps in the adoption of unique data sets to streamline and strengthen automated underwriting for originations. Considering the emergence of alternative, geographic and other ancillary data sets that have yet to be standardized

About The Author

Wendy Hannah

Wendy Hannah is the Vice President of Sales Support for Equifax Inc., a global leader in consumer, commercial, and workforce information solutions that provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information.

The New Subprime?

According to data from the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report, first mortgage originations for subprime borrowers (consumers with an Equifax Risk Score of 620 or below) have shown steady growth from January to October 2015, with more than 312,000 new mortgages originated, totaling $50.7 billion. This represents an increase of 28 percent in number of first mortgage originations and a 45 percent increase in the total balances from the same time a year ago.

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“While there are many characteristics that define a subprime loan, such as the specific terms of the loan and the lender who issues it, credit standards are becoming more accommodating to meet market demand,” said Amy Crews Cutts, chief economist at Equifax. “At the same time, lenders are focusing more attention on evaluating consumers’ ability to repay. This has led to a much larger reliance on third-party data verifications that enable lenders to more accurately vet subprime borrowers much earlier in the origination process.”

The industry is also seeing an increase in subprime activity within the home equity market, with the total balance of home equity installment loans originated for subprime borrowers increasing to more than $1.4 billion, a year-over-year increase of 32.7 percent; with the total credit limits on home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) reaching $608 billion, a year-over-year increase of 6.8 percent.

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Cutts continued, “Home equity installment loans are often more suitable for consumers with credit issues, but the regulatory costs and underwriting burdens have typically made them very expensive for lenders to originate. Conversely, HELOCs are generally more popular among consumers, but less accessible to subprime borrowers. Mortgage insurance is a viable alternative for home equity loans that might be used as piggy-back financing for part of the down payment on the first mortgage and may explain why we are not seeing similar proportionate increases in subprime home equity loans.”

About The Author

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Tony Garritano

Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.