Reducing Volatility in Your Portfolio

April 8, 2020 by Laura Burrows

In today’s rapidly changing economic environment, the looming question of how to reduce portfolio volatility while still meeting consumers’ needs is on every lender’s mind. So, how can you better asses risk for unbanked consumers and prime borrowers? Look no further than alternative credit data.

In the face of severe financial stress, when borrowers are increasingly being shut out of traditional credit offerings, the adoption of alternative credit data allows lenders to more closely evaluate consumer’s creditworthiness and reduce their credit risk exposure without unnecessarily impacting insensitive or more “resilient” consumers.

What is alternative credit data?

Millions of consumers lack credit history or have difficulty obtaining credit from mainstream financial institutions. To ease access to credit for “invisible” and subprime consumers, financial institutions have sought ways to both extend and improve the methods by which they evaluate borrowers’ risk. This initiative to effectively score more consumers has involved the use of alternative credit data.1 Alternative credit data is FCRA-regulated data that is typically not included in a traditional credit report and helps lenders paint a fuller picture of a consumer, so borrowers can get better access to the financial services they need and deserve.

How can it help during a downturn?

The economic environment impacts consumers’ financial behavior. And with more than 100 million consumers already restricted by the traditional scoring methods used today, lenders need to look beyond traditional credit information to make more informed decisions. By pulling in alternative credit data, such as consumer-permissioned data, rental payments and full-file public records, lenders can gain a holistic view of current and future customers. These insights help them expand their credit universe, identify potential fraud and determine an applicant’s ability to pay all while mitigating risk.

Plus, many consumers are happy to share additional financial information. According to Experian research, 58% say that having the ability to contribute positive payment history to their credit files makes them feel more empowered. Likewise, many lenders are already expanding their sources for insights, with 65% using information beyond traditional credit report data in their current lending processes to make better decisions.

By better assessing risk at the onset of the loan decisioning process, lenders can minimize credit losses while driving greater access to credit for consumers.

Learn more

1When we refer to “Alternative Credit Data,” this refers to the use of alternative data and its appropriate use in consumer credit lending decisions, as regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Hence, the term “Expanded FCRA Data” may also apply in this instance and both can be used interchangeably.

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