You can draw immediate conclusions from a credit score, especially scores at extreme ends of the credit scoring range. Easy approvals with the best terms for super prime and auto declines for subprimes that have no chance of matching your credit policies. Mid-range scores require a bit more evaluation prior to structuring an appropriate deal.
The standard credit score is only a snapshot of a consumer’s financial strength. Underlying this number is a history of financial transactions that tell a fuller story, painting a detailed picture and revealing any developing trends in a consumer’s credit habits. Lenders willing to incorporate trended credit data into their loan origination process will find that this information helps to make far more confident lending decisions.
In contrast to a single credit score, trended credit data provides many months of detailed tradeline information that show how a consumer’s credit habits are developing. Two years of data for 3 tradelines equates to 72 data points that can reveal improving, declining, or unchanged financial strength. A few examples show how trended credit data opens up more lending opportunities while simultaneously reducing risk.
Three Examples of Using Trended Credit Data for Better Decisioning
When Prime is Trending Toward Super Prime
Our first consumer is in prime range with a score of 670. However, when we examine 24 months of data from several tradelines we find that 24 months ago the consumer was at 80% of revolving credit limit and has since reduced it to 25%, a clear indicator of improving financial position. With this information, a lender could reasonably conclude that the consumer is trending toward super prime and more likely to have the financial characteristics of a 720 score. Based on this evaluation, the lender, confident of the lower risk, could offer a super prime deal that is likely to be more attractive to the consumer than a deal structured for a prime score. In this instance, a clearer understanding of borrower risk increases the probability of booking the loan.
When Prime is Trending Toward Near Prime
Our second consumer has a prime range score of 630, but evaluation of 24 months of tradeline data reveals the consumer has taken on home equity debt, and in subsequent months has gone from paying more than the required monthly amount to paying the minimum. There’s also one NSF entry recorded 3 months ago. With this information, a lender is not wrong in questioning the consumer’s ability to take on additional debt. Rather than offering a deal structure for prime borrowers, the lender may want to price for greater risk and offer a subprime deal comparable to a consumer with a 590 score. In this instance, any assumptions made solely on the basis of credit score alone are corrected by trended data that allows the lender to price for risk.
When Prime Remains Prime
Our third consumer has a prime score of 650. Analysis of 24 months of tradeline data shows consistency—no additional tradelines assumed, credit card payments in full every month, no one-off transactions that would call into question the consumer’s financial stability. The conclusion—this is a solid prime borrower. The credit score truly reflects the risk associated with the borrower, and the lender can confidently offer a deal structure to match.
Trended Credit Data: A Difference That Creates Lending Decision Confidence
In each of the examples above, trended credit data enables lenders to far more accurately assess the creditworthiness of borrowers and match applicants to credit policies priced according to perceived risk. Trended credit data reveals differences in consumers who, based on credit scores, appear to have a similar risk. That insight lets lenders:
- Offer borrowers who show improving financial strength better terms than indicated by credit score alone, thereby increasing the likelihood of capturing the loan in a highly competitive market;
- Offer borrowers who show declining financial strength terms that more accurately reflect risk. Based on trended data, a portion of these applications may automatically be issued declines, thereby completely eliminating that risk; and
- Approve a greater number of loans without increasing risk.
A good portion of consumers can benefit from decisions driven by trended credit data. Consumers who show improving financial strength improve their probability of obtaining a loan at a more affordable rate or terms in comparison to credit scores alone.
Learn from experts about the capabilities and benefits of trended data by watching the How to Use Trended Data in Your Loan Approval Process webinar now.
With the wealth of consumer information made available via trended credit data and the ease of integrating these services into a modern loan origination solution, these resources should be part of every lender’s decisioning process. Trended credit data can be one of the most effective means for lenders to improve their ability to optimally manage risk, capture lending opportunities, and positively impact portfolio performance and profitability.
defi SOLUTIONS‘ loan origination software experts make it easy to incorporate trended credit data into the lending process. Take the first step toward improving the quality and confidence of your lending decisions and simultaneously reducing risk by contacting our team today or registering for a demo of defi LOS.
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