2020 HW Woman of Influence: Terri Merlino

Freddie Mac, Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, Single-Family Business

Terri Merlino

Terri Merlino plays a key role at Freddie Mac, serving as chief credit officer of the company’s single-family business.

Merlino substantially impacts Freddie Mac’s mortgage credit risk management efforts and the experiences of the company’s clients. In addition, Merlino also assumed additional risk management responsibilities. Late in 2019, Merlino was promoted from vice president to senior vice president, making her one of the most influential leaders at Freddie Mac. In her roles at Freddie Mac, Merlino was instrumental in leading the drive for industry adoption of Freddie Mac’s risk assessment tools Loan Quality Advisor and Loan Product Advisor, to ensure loans delivered were acceptable to Freddie Mac’s risk profile. Beyond that, Merlino also led teams that innovated products and tools, including Loan Product Advisor AIM, which automates the assessment of borrower assets and income for lenders; and Automated Collateral Evaluation, which leverages Freddie Mac proprietary models, along with historical data and public records to let Freddie Mac clients originate eligible loans without a traditional appraisal. Merlino also acted quickly and decisively in response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis to provide flexibility, guidance and clarity in underwriting guideline policy and process.

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