Equifax adds telecommunications and utility information to the mortgage process

Equifax provides certain telecommunications, pay television and utility attributes to the mortgage industry to help streamline the mortgage underwriting process and support lending in the secondary mortgage market. Providing these attributes to mortgage lenders alongside traditional credit reports can help create additional homeownership opportunities. Using this extended data insights can also provide visibility to millions of unseen credit consumers, those without a traditional credit history.

For many Americans, buying a home is a crucial first step in building wealth. However, credit-blind consumers may struggle to take the first step toward homeownership. Often these consumers have to go through a lengthy manual underwriting process of obtaining physical documentation from third parties to prove they have a credit history when applying for a mortgage. By providing certain attributes, which are based on a consumer’s aggregated history with telecommunications, pay TV and utilities, Equifax is able to provide new insights that help automate, save time and resources and streamline the first mortgage process for each applicant.

“At Equifax, we strive to create economically healthy individuals and communities everywhere we do business,” said Mark W. Begor, CEO of Equifax. “While traditional credit reports remain a strong indicator of credit history and past financial reliability, we believe that more data leads to better decisions. Reviewing traditional credit reports alongside other information on data enables the mortgage industry to develop a more complete picture of a consumer’s financial profile to drive greater financial inclusion by potentially streamlining mortgage underwriting processes for more consumers.This new offering is a another way for us to leverage differentiated data assets to help more consumers access traditional financial services and opportunities.”

This Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant information provides anonymous information to streamline the mortgage application process when consumers seek approval for a home loan. This expanded data cannot be used by lenders to deny applications for credit or other services.

“The path to financial well-being and equity often begins with home ownership,” says Craig Crabtree, senior vice president and general manager of Equifax Mortgage & Housing Services. “The key to greater financial inclusion is higher levels of visibility. By offering these consumer-grade, highly structured telecommunications, pay-TV, and utility attributes in addition to its traditional mortgage credit reports, Equifax offers the mortgage industry the ability to access enhanced data sets that can further facilitate mortgage process for more consumers. We look forward to working with the mortgage industry so that together we can unlock the full potential to help millions of Americans achieve their goal of homeownership.

This additional consumer information, provided alongside Equifax’s traditional mortgage credit report, will be provided at no additional cost to lenders. Equifax will begin making this information available to customers in the first quarter of 2023.

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