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How lenders can help borrowers improve their credit score

It’s no secret credit scores can hinder a potential borrower’s ability to qualify for the best loan program, which can ultimately lead to poor borrower satisfaction.

At HousingWire’s 2021 Annual Spring Summit, CreditXpert VP of Sales and Client Success Matt Hydrew and Todd Worthington, director of qualification support at Bank of England, discussed top-of-the-funnel strategies lenders can use to help borrowers gain a better understanding of their credit score.

“Consumers have access to credit scores, more than ever,” Hydrew said. “They can go online and understand their FICO score, but mortgage credit scores are different. For lenders, it’s important to help borrowers understand those scores and the complexity of it.”

Borrowers don’t always know or understand how their credit or debt-to-income ratio (DTI) impacts the type of loan they can qualify for. This is where lenders can step in to provide their clients with a better understanding. By implementing a credit process, lenders have the ability to help borrowers get approved for a loan – even after they were previously declined.

Some borrowers may qualify for a loan, but due to poor credit, the loan won’t come with the best terms. If an interest rate is too high, borrowers might look elsewhere. Or, give up looking altogether.

“During a typical pre-qualification at a bank, I saw customers come in and if their credit wasn’t good enough, they simply got a denial letter with a 1-800 number on the bottom with a bad credit counselor. That’s not a good experience,” Hydrew said.

Instead of turning clients away and losing out on potential business, implementing a credit process can help you keep those clients.

CreditXpert’s Xpert Credit Process

CreditXpert, a software solutions company, provides loan officers with the tools needed to help their clients reach their dream of homeownership. With CreditXpert’s Xpert Credit Process, applications that have poor credit automatically move to a credit specialist who works with the applicant, the loan officer and CreditXpert tools to determine the best course of action. This allows the loan officer to focus on sales activities and provide their leads with better service.

Most lenders rely on loan officers to determine the best way to help clients with poor credit. But not every loan officer has the time or know-how to effectively help a client improve their credit. By implementing a credit process, loan officers are able to transfer leads to individuals who specialize in helping applicants improve credit scores. Once their scores has been improved, these applicants can become customers and then apply and hopefully get approved for a better loan.

“You want to work for a company like Bank of England that will invest in technology to help you qualify applicants, that will allow you to really have tools like a credit expert and a qualification tournament to close more loans,” Worthington said. “So, you focus on being a loan expert, and the qualification team can focus on closing those loans.”

Improving the Customer Experience

Borrower experience is crucial for lending success, and it’s something not every bank focuses on. Potential borrowers need to not only know whether they’re approved for a loan but if they’re not, they need to understand how they can be approved in the future. By effectively using credit report technology, lenders can help borrowers who were previously declined. Technology can enable lenders to educate borrowers.

Having the right process in place to allow consumers to become loan experts will help lenders improve recruiting, cultivate better relationships with borrowers, increase efficiency and close more deals. It’s important to note, implementing a qualification team doesn’t have to be a challenging feat – simply think through how you can start at a smaller level and then slowly expand.

“A credit process can also help build referrals because chances are, the customers you help will spread the word to other borrowers, and so on,” Worthington said.

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