Getting the Job Done with Alternative Credit Data

July 9, 2019 by Kelly Nguyen

Would you hire a new employee strictly by their resume? Surely not – there’s so much more to a candidate than what’s written on paper. With that being said, why would you determine your consumers’ creditworthiness based only on their traditional credit score?

Resumes don’t always give you the full picture behind an applicant and can only tell a part of someone’s story, just as a traditional credit score can also be a limited view of your consumers. And lenders agree – findings from Experian’s 2019 State of Alternative Credit Data revealed that 65% of lenders are already leveraging information beyond the traditional credit report to make lending decisions.

So in addition to the resume, hiring managers should look into a candidate’s references, which are typically used to confirm a candidate’s positive attributes and qualities. For lenders, this is alternative credit data.

References are supplemental but essential to the resume, and allow you to gain new information to expand your view into a candidate – synonymous to alternative credit data’s role when it comes to lending.

Lenders are tasked with evaluating their consumers to determine their stability and creditworthiness in an effort to prevent and reduce risk. While traditional credit data contains core information about a consumer’s credit data, it may not be enough for a lender to formulate a full and complete evaluation of the consumer. And for over 45 million Americans, the issue of having no credit history or a “thin” credit history is the equivalent of having a resume with little to no listed work experience.

Alternative credit data helps to fill in the gaps, which has benefits for both lenders and consumers. In fact, 61% of consumers believe adding payment history would have a positive impact on their credit score, and therefore are willing to share their data with lenders.

Alternative credit data is FCRA-compliant and includes information like alternative finance data, rental payments, utility payments, bank account information, consumer-permissioned data and full-file public records. Because this data shows a holistic view of the customer, it helps to determine their ability to repay debts and reveals any delinquent behaviors. These insights help lenders to expand their consumer lending universe– all while mitigating and preventing risk.

The benefits can also be seen for home-based and small businesses. Fifty percent of all US small businesses are home-based, but many small business owners lack visibility due to their thin-file nature – making it extremely difficult to secure bank loans and capital to fund their businesses. And, younger generations and small business owners account for 58% of business owners who rely on short term lending.

By leveraging alternative credit data, lenders can get greater insights into a small business owner’s credit profile and gauge risk. Entrepreneurs can also benefit from this information being used to build their credit profiles – making it easier for them to gain access to investment capital to fund their new ventures.

Like a hiring manager, it’s important for lenders to get a comprehensive view to find the most qualified candidates. Using alternative credit data can expand your choices  – read our 2019 State of Alternative Credit Data Whitepaper to learn more and register for our upcoming webinar.

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