When COVID-19 first rocked the U.S. economy in March 2020, mortgage lenders had to be nimble in a variety of areas. Mortgage interest rates hit record lows and origination volume surged. At the same time, a number of individuals were facing job losses. This meant that lenders were having to adapt the method in which they evaluated borrower income while simultaneously handling an influx in refinance and purchase demand.
It was in the midst of this important moment in history when Citizens Bank first began integrating a solution that would serve to reduce underwriting turn times and bring consistency to its income analysis process. And while Citizens was looking to improve turn times on loans, the lender ranked quality as its No. 1 priority. This case study explores how Citizens Bank was able to improve the quality and efficiency of its origination workflow using CoreLogic Credco’s FactCheck income analysis solution.
Prior to integrating FactCheck, the lender used an Excel spreadsheet that the underwriter and or loan officer would have to key information into. This left room for human error as numbers could be transposed or missed. This method also consumed valuable time for both underwriters and loan officers, and consequently, impacted the overall turn time of the loan.
“We were looking to eliminate errors as well as reduce the time spent, especially when we would have numerous businesses that had to be entered by an underwriter,” Citizens SVP Bea Tilley said.
Beyond the ability to tailor the solution to its needs, Citizens had two key factors it was looking for an income analysis solution. These included Accuracy, consistency and reduced turn times.
Citizens fully implemented FactCheck on September 1, 2020. Since then, the lender has seen an improvement of its overall term time for self-employed borrowers and an improvement in loan application quality.
Citizens also tracks underwriting touches and has noted a substantial reduction now that it can provide a more concise package to its underwriting team. All of this translates to reduced turn time on loans. Additionally, the lender has noted a lower percentage of suspended self-employed loans, which was among the top KPIs Citizens was monitoring for signs of integration success. And of course, all of these factors combined led to overall satisfaction in the originating process, both internally and externally.
“Our loan officers are extremely happy to know what income they can use to qualify a customer upfront,” Tilley said. “They don’t have to worry about putting a borrower into a product or a loan size that they wouldn’t qualify for. So now underwriters are happy to see that they’re not having to educate processors and loan officers on the documentation that’s required for self-employed borrowers.”
FactCheck’s income analysis process allows Citizen’s loan officers to provide underwriters with more quality loan applications, and in turn, reduces touchpoints for underwriters. By finding a vendor that could align their solution to its needs in a rapidly changing environment, Citizens was able to reduce turn times, ensure consistency and increase borrower satisfaction. To find out more about how Citizens implemented the solution and get a closer look at the results, download the case study here.