New software helps brokers test lenders’ criteria

Walking City of London commuters made of ones and zeroes with glowing numbers composited over them.

A new software development from Iress and Experian will enable brokers to test applicants against lenders’ criteria without leaving a hard footprint on their credit files.

The enhancement to Iress’s XPlan Mortgage sourcing software is currently being piloted by users, with plans for a full rollout early next year.

By linking up with HD Decisions, part of Experian, the XPlan software will soon allow brokers to check their client’s eligibility against a number of lenders’ criteria all at once, rather than have to phone each lender or trawl through their intermediary websites.

HD Decisions has signed up 11 of the top 20 lenders already to share confidential information on their credit strategies so that it can give brokers a realistic real-time indication of whether their clients are likely to be accepted.

Brokers will be told whether an applicant’s chance of success is excellent, good or poor based on three factors: whether they meet all the lending policy requirements, how they fare against the lender’s credit scorecard and whether they measure up against the lender’s affordability matrix.

As well as rating an applicant’s likelihood of success, the system will tell the broker the maximum amount a lender is likely to offer. Brokers know well that there can be a wide variance in the amounts different lenders may be willing to offer the same applicant because of the way each chooses to assess affordability.

For example, a couple each earning £15,000 with one child may see a difference of around £50,000 between the amounts offered by the least and most generous lenders on the market.

The current update to XPlan Mortgage will not cater to customers with a patchy credit history or complex needs. Buy-to-let, shared ownership and shared equity are not yet included.

HD Decisions head of mortgage strategy James Sadler says: “This goes far beyond simply putting a client’s details into a lender’s affordability calculator. We worked extremely hard with the credit teams of each lender for around three to six months to really understand their policies. We put up to 6,000 test cases through the system so that we could check the results with the lenders.”

Iress UK executive general manager for products Andrew Simon says: “We’ve been working in close collaboration with mortgage intermediaries and lenders to help improve process efficiencies. Iress and HD Decisions have now delivered ground-breaking mortgage eligibility functionality.

“Using XPlan, advisers will be able to provide their clients with a far greater degree of confidence, early in the process, that they will be able to secure the mortgage they need. We’re delivering a paradigm shift here that sets a new, higher standard in customer experience.”

The new development has the potential to make a substantial difference to the mortgage process, according to Finance & Tech-nology Research Centre director Ian McKenna.

He says: “Iress and Experian are delivering a really significant enhancement to the level of service and certainty that advisers can provide to their clients. The mortgage market has needed to transform the customer experience post MMR and it’s great to see this finally happening.”