study many unscoreables are creditworthy well qualified for mortgages

Study: Many ‘unscoreables’ are creditworthy, well-qualified for mortgages

Date: June 24, 2020

The latest VantageScore research study, Exclusionary Credit Score Modeling Limits Access to Credit for Millions of Consumers…Even Perhaps Your Next Door Neighbor, lays to rest any suggestion that the VantageScore model is less safe or sound than conventional models because it scores 30-35 million more consumers than they do. To the contrary, as the title suggests, models that do not score this population unfairly exclude them from accessing mainstream credit.

The study sought a more detailed financial portrait of the “expanded population” that can be scored by VantageScore but not by competing scoring models, including the roughly 7.6 million consumers whose scores of 620 or higher indicate a high degree of creditworthiness.

To that end, VantageScore scientists examined five million anonymized credit files which had been supplemented with demographic and economic data from Experian. This enabled a comparison of expanded-population consumers to their traditionally scoreable counterparts on a variety of financial characteristics, including income, employment, debt, and the general ability to afford mortgages in their geographic regions.

Highlights include:

  • Individuals in the expanded population who scored above 620 using the VantageScore 3.0 model exhibited profiles of sufficient quality to justify mortgage loans on par with those of conventionally scoreable consumers. Approximately 2.3 to 2.5 million consumers—a majority of the 3.4 million consumers who were categorized as potentially eligible for mortgages—demonstrated sufficient income to support a mortgage in their geographic areas.

  • When a credit score is the predominant information used to assess risk, as is often the case in bankcard lending, consumers without a conventional credit score are often assessed as high-risk. This occurs despite the possibility that they are simply conservative users of credit with strong financial foundations.

  • Seventy-six percent of consumers with scores above 620 at the beginning of the two-year period maintained scores above 620 through the end of that period. Seven percent of consumers with scores below 620 at the outset raised their scores above 620 by the end of the period.

The study confirmed that many financially stable, creditworthy individuals are excluded from access to mainstream credit under the prevailing underwriting infrastructure for conventional credit scores. The study underscores the limitations of reliance on a conventional brand of credit scoring model within underwriting systems and highlights significant opportunities available to lenders that have the flexibility to choose among competing credit scoring models, including the VantageScore 3.0 model, for use in their automated underwriting systems.

Download the white paper at www.VantageScore.com/exclusionary. An infographic highlighting findings of the study is available at www.vantagescore.com/exclusionary_infographic.