By Sara Bovat of National Mortgage News. CoreLogic and FICO this week released the FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic. This new offering evaluates the traditional credit data from the national credit data repositories and the supplemental consumer credit data in the CoreLogic CoreScore.

This is aimed at increasing the number of mortgage loans that lenders make by improving the quality of their credit decisions on loan applications.

In a question-and-answer session with Asset Securitization Report, Tim Grace, senior vice president of product management at CoreLogic, spoke about why the product can potentially drive the number of the country’s mortgage originations higher.

ASR: A recent FICO quarterly survey showed that bankers lack confidence in the housing finance market. What attributes of this new product can help bring this back?

GRACE: The CoreScore credit report incorporates credit history-related data about potential borrowers and existing customers that was extracted from CoreLogic proprietary databases. The databases represent the largest and most complete collection of real estate and public records in the nation, covering 99.9% of the U.S. population. Rental information and nontraditional lender data are also incorporated into the CoreScore supplemental credit report. Since it is updated continuously, the CoreScore credit report provides additional data to augment the information provided by the traditional credit report companies. The FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic is a new score that combines the supplementary consumer credit history from the CoreScore credit report with the credit information that is typically provided by traditional credit repositories. We believe the lenders want to approve more borrowers and we think this score will help them do so in a safer manner.

ASR: What makes CoreLogic’s information analysis more accurate and safer for lenders than traditional credit data?

GRACE: The FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic is specific to predicting mortgage defaults. The data that was used to develop the model is from recent consumer behavior. This is why the information better represents how today’s borrower behaviors affect credit risk. In our sample of 300,000 mortgage applicants, the score also would have enabled 3,100 more consumers to qualify to purchase a home at a credit score of 700 or above criteria.

ASR: What change did you make to the CoreLogic CoreScore credit report introduced in October 2011 to further improve accuracy?

GRACE: CoreLogic is focused on increasing the transparency into borrower credit behavior. In addition to the new FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic, the CoreScore credit report now contains rental information and alternative credit data. All of the data is seamlessly integrated into a single, real-time credit report.

ASR: How does this product help the prequalification and origination phases of the process? Will borrowers be more likely to prequalify for loans?

GRACE: The new FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic was designed for mortgage origination from prequalification to prefunding. Analysis of the new score shows that, for a great many consumers, the inclusion of additional credit data could help them. Over 70% of consumers in our sample scored higher with the FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic than they did with scores in general use today, and 24% saw their scores increase by more than 50 points. For borrowers in the 580-619 range or those that are close to a lender’s typical credit score minimum, 45% of that population saw their scores improve enough to meet the credit score threshold.

ASR: How will the new scoring model developed by FICO help mortgage lenders more safely and profitably expand their origination volumes? Does it create more transparency or does it better borrower prequalifications?

GRACE: The new FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic uses the same score range as traditional FICO scores, making it easy for lenders to operationalize, and for consumers to understand. The new FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic is more predictive than generally available credit risk scores due to a number of factors: 1) FICO extracted predictive value from the incremental data contained in the CoreScore credit report; 2) The data that was used to develop the model is from recent consumer behavior, better representing how today’s borrower behaviors affect credit risk; 3) This model is specific to predicting the likelihood of mortgage default at the point of origination; 4) A single risk score is produced, reflecting borrower credit risk using both traditional and supplemental credit data.

ASR: How does CoreLogic’s data contribute to this partnership with FICO?

GRACE: The CoreScore credit report contains information from the CoreLogic proprietary databases of nearly 1 billion consumer credit transactions. By leveraging this data with the FICO’s expertise in analytics, a series of predictive models will be developed to increase visibility into borrower credit risk. The FICO Mortgage Score Powered by CoreLogic is the first model available in production, which leverages data only available on the CoreScore credit report.