What is trended data?

June 28, 2016 by Natalie Daukas


Trend: a general direction in which something is developing or changing.

Last Update: January 2019

As a lender, it’s important to understand a consumer’s credit behavior and whether it is improving or deteriorating over time.

Sure, you can pull a credit score at any moment, but it is merely a snapshot. Knowing a consumer’s credit information at a single point in time only tells part of the story. Two consumers can have the same credit score, but one consumer’s score could be moving up while another’s could be moving down. In order to understand the whole story, lenders need the ability to leverage trended data to assess a consumer’s credit behavior over time.

Experian’s Trended Data is comprised of five fields of historical payment information over a 24-month period. It includes:

  • Balance Amount
  • Original Loan / Limit Amount
  • Scheduled Payment Amount
  • Actual Payment Amount
  • Last Payment Date

By analyzing historical payment information, lenders can determine if a consumer is consistently paying more than the minimum payment, has a demonstrated ability to pay and shows no signs of payment stress. It can conversely identify if a consumer is making only minimum payments and has increasing payment stress.

Knowing how a consumer uses credit, or pays back debt over time, can help lenders offer the right products and terms to increase response rates, determine up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, prevent attrition, identify profitable customers, avoid consumers with payment stress and limit loss exposure. Using a consumer’s historical payment information provides a more accurate assessment of future behavior, which in turn helps effectively manage changes in risk, predicts in-the-market timing or balance transfer activity, and provides additional insight for other lending strategies.

There is a catch though.

In order for lenders to extract the benefits of trended data, they need to be able to analyze an enormous amount of data. Five fields of data across 24 months on every trade is huge and can be difficult for lenders with limited analytical resources to manage. For example, a single consumer with 10 trades on file would have upwards of 1,200 data points to analyze. Multiply that by a file of 100,000 consumers and you are now dealing with over 120,000,000 data points. Additionally, if lenders utilize the trended data in their underwriting processing and intend to use it to decline consumers, they will need to create their own adverse action reason codes to communicate to the consumer. Not all lenders are equipped to take on this level of effort.

Still, there are trended data solutions to assist lenders with managing and unlocking the power of trended data.

Experian’s pre-calculated solutions utilizing trended data allow even the smallest lenders to leverage the most cutting-edge solutions in near plug-and-play environments to quickly and effectively action on the benefits of trended data, minus the hassles of analyzing it.

Trended data, and the solutions built from it, allow lenders to effectively predict where a consumer is going based on where they’ve been. And really, that can make all the difference when it comes to smart lending decisions.

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