(Source: TransUnion) CHICAGO, IL – A recent TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) survey found that three in four lenders said it is increasingly difficult to find and acquire new customers. Nearly 75% said they are challenged by a continued low interest rate environment, which is spurring more competition for a pool of consumers who receive multiple credit offers.
The survey results are in line with TransUnion data that show there were more than 26 million additional auto, credit card and personal loan accounts in 2015 compared to 2014. Yet, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at least 45 million U.S. consumers are still not able to access credit because they either have no credit report or have insufficient credit histories.
“Competition for new borrowers has not been this fierce in the lending space since prior to the recession,” said Steve Chaouki, executive vice president and head of TransUnion’s financial services business unit. “Our survey results and core performance data point to a new lending environment. Millions of previously unscorable consumers-now scorable by way of alternative data, which is not traditionally found on a credit file-could have access to new loans. Importantly, many of these borrowers are expected to be good risks and welcome additions into lender portfolios.”
TransUnion’s survey of 317 lenders, conducted by third-party research firm Versta Research, shows how alternative data may be leveraged to better assess risk and price offerings appropriate both for unbanked, unscored consumers and for traditionally prime borrowers.
According to TransUnion’s survey, 87% of lenders say they decline some credit applicants because they cannot be scored. Yet 83% of those using alternative data to score credit applicants report seeing tangible benefits. Nearly two in three lenders (64%) say they have seen tangible benefits within the first year of using alternative data.
Three in four survey respondents said they expect alternative data will bring about positive economic changes. Other key benefits derived from alternative data, according to survey respondents, include:
- 66% of lenders using alternative data say it is helping them reach more creditworthy consumers in their current markets.
- 56% of lenders using alternative data say the data has opened up new markets.
- 87% of lenders using alternative data do so to evaluate thin-file or no-file consumers.
- 67% use alternative data to evaluate non-prime borrowers.