Globalization and technological innovation are changing the way Americans work.
More and more, people are taking advantage of easy-to-use technology to take care of their day-to-day tasks, be they personal or work-related. While consumers have adapted to the new digital world and continuous progress in many aspects of their lives, their credit bureaus have been hard at work shifting and navigating to the new normal of frictionless technology tools on our personal devices that most of us are embracing.
However, we have to acknowledge that even with some positive changes and advancements taking place in the lending industry, the lending process overall has not always kept pace with technology and consumer expectations, with applicants stuck pushing papers in application stages that can last almost 10 weeks.
Aspirations for higher education that require a student loan, building or purchasing a home through a mortgage and realizing that next big innovative idea with a small business loan are hamstrung by a remnant of the 20th century – the paper-based loans processes.
So today, Experian and Finicity are announcing a partnership that promises to transform the consumer and lender experience and bring it into the 21st century.
By partnering with Finicity, we are leveraging our combined capabilities – their industry-leading 16,000 developed integrations throughout the financial services field and Experian’s Decisioning as a Service platform, to be the first credit bureau that can digitize the loan asset and income verification steps of the underwriting process for consumers and lenders.
For consumers, this digital transformation of key steps of the loan underwriting process can mean increased time and money savings by helping to decrease the cost of lending. Loan approval speed can move up to 85 percent faster, taking the process from as many as 70 days to as few as 10 days.
The access to faster lines of credit enables consumers to get the keys to their new home sooner and removes obstacles to opening a business. Instead of filling out, printing, photocopying and compiling document upon document, consumers need to only permission lenders to verify their income and assets.
The new lending process also opens new opportunities for the millions of Americans who may be “credit invisible.” Tens of millions of Americans lack access to credit either because they haven’t ever accessed credit or have a weak credit history.
Yet, most consumers have a checking and savings account, as well as other payment obligations such as rent, and utility and phone bills, which can demonstrate they are capable of repaying a loan. Finicity’s extensive integrations fill this gap by capturing alternative data, like on-time rental payments, utility bills and other non-traditional transaction information, which creates a more comprehensive picture of consumers.
By looking at predictive alternative data, we are leveraging and harnessing the power of data to help underserved populations, including millennials, minorities and immigrants build their futures by accessing credit to start a business, obtain a mortgage or finance higher-education pursuits.
What does this mean for lenders? It means providing customers with a better experience throughout the underwriting process and significantly reducing the risk of fraud with up-to-date, accurate information.
In addition, Finicity is in a final pilot testing review to obtain Day 1 Certainty by Fannie Mae. With Day 1 Certainty, lenders can validate loan application data including income and assets upfront. The results are freedom from representations and warranties, more efficient risk management and a streamlined process.
At Experian, we take charge of powering opportunities seriously. We take pride – but don’t rest on our laurels – in that we’re the industry leader in technological innovation to reduce pain points for consumers and build better products for our clients. We don’t innovate for innovation’s sake. Rather, we seek to leverage technology to help more people access better tomorrows.
This partnership and the product stand to benefit millions people by facilitating access to credit for the first time for many. For all consumers, it will reduce the burden the formerly burdensome loan underwriting process – and speed the approval times. For lenders, we’re reducing occurrences of fraud and allowing them to more appropriately price risk.
We’re continuing to lead by digitizing the credit bureau, and undoubtedly, this announcement will be joined by other announcements that we will be making in the near term.
Revolutionizing the Home-Buying Journey