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A Fight Over the Credit Score Lenders Use for Mortgage Applications - ABI

Banks and rival lenders are butting heads over the credit scores used to decide millions of mortgage requests by U.S. home buyers, the Wall Street Journal reported. Now, a federal agency is weighing whether to step into the fight, which revolves around a longtime requirement for lenders who sell mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to gauge most borrowers using FICO scores. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s ultimate decision could have wide-reaching ramifications for the mortgage market and home buyers across the U.S. Many nonbank lenders, which in some recent quarters have accounted for more than half of the mortgage dollars issued in the U.S., want the ability to use a credit score provided by a company owned by credit-reporting firms Equifax Inc., Experian PLC and TransUnion. These lenders argue that the alternative score would open the mortgage market to a greater number of people and lead to more mortgage approvals, helping to boost home sales and the economy.

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