Experian Targets Refinance Market

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Experian, Orange, CA, has introduced a mortgage database that combines information from three of its data sources, standardizes collection of loan data and adds new selection criteria to present lenders with a better picture of consumers who are candidates for refinancing.

The 24.1-million-name Experian Mortgage database is available in an environment that has seen a flurry of refinancing as mortgage interest rates have hit historical lows. The database includes selections on the rate of interest when a mortgage was taken, the category of the original lender and presents accurate information on the name of the existing lender.

Experian developed a standardized system for recording lender names from deed transactions that allows users to select a minimum of three lender names with each list order. The minimum is required to prevent a user from raiding the customers of a specific company. In the past, lender names had been recorded in so many variations that it was difficult to identify who the lender really was, said Dennis Kooker, Experian director of product marketing and development.

The database was constructed by taking names from the Experian New Homeowner list and enhancing them with individual and household demographics from the Insource consumer database and its Summarized Credit Statistics. By combining all data related to credit and home ownership in one place, it streamlines what used to require processing off different databases into a single select.

Summarized Credit Statistics aggregate credit data on the neighborhood level and enable lenders to evaluate if a prospect meets its credit criteria without having to make a firm offer. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that a firm offer be made if a lender examines an individual credit report. When used in regression models, aggregate credit statistics have provided a significant lift in predicting which prospects mirror a lender's current customers, Kooker said.

Lender name and loan type selects enable lenders to target homeowners whose financial situation may have improved enough to attract their business.

"Some lenders are willing to take on more risk originally than others and will charge a higher interest rate," Kooker said. "After a family proves its credit worthiness they may be offered a lower rate by another lender."

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