What is Your Lending Businesses Credit Scoring Model?

 If you are in the lending business, you will have a risk model or general credit scoring model that is relied on to determine interest rates as well as loan eligibility for borrowers that want to get a loan. The question is, what is the best model or methodology for doing this in a way that minimizes defaults and maximizes profits. Remember, you want to have a balanced portfolio to get healthy returns (higher interest rates) but also steady payments from good borrowers that don't default (higher interest rates don't mean much if you the default rate is too high).

Relevant Template:

Lenders use credit scoring models to assess the creditworthiness of borrowers and determine their likelihood of repaying a loan. These models typically use a variety of data points to evaluate an individual's credit history and generate a numerical score that represents their credit risk.

Here are some common factors that lenders consider when evaluating a borrower's creditworthiness:
  • Payment history: This includes whether the borrower has paid their bills on time, and whether they have any delinquencies or collections on their credit report.
  • Credit utilization: This refers to the amount of credit the borrower is using compared to their available credit. High credit utilization can be a red flag to lenders.
  • Length of credit history: This takes into account how long the borrower has been using credit, including the age of their oldest account and the average age of all their accounts.
  • Credit mix: This considers the different types of credit the borrower has used, such as credit cards, car loans, and mortgages.
  • Recent credit inquiries: This looks at how frequently the borrower has applied for credit in the recent past.
Lenders use these factors, along with their own proprietary algorithms, to generate a credit score for the borrower. What are their 'own proprietary algorithms'? This is difficult to say, but generally to develop a risk model you will have test data that you plug into the algorithm (usually historical data) and see how it pans out based on the actual payment history of the borrowers that pass. If the algorithm does a good job with historical data, it has a good chance to do good with future data assuming the borrowers have similar attributes.

This is not an easy thing to do and is not an exact science.

The most commonly used credit score is the FICO score, which ranges from 300 to 850. The higher the score, the lower the borrower's credit risk, and the more likely they are to be approved for a loan and receive favorable terms and interest rates.

The choice of credit scoring model can have a significant impact on a lender's total profits. A more accurate credit scoring model can help lenders better predict credit risk and make more informed lending decisions. This can reduce default rates and minimize losses due to delinquent or charged-off loans. On the other hand, using an overly conservative credit scoring model may result in missed lending opportunities, while using a model that is too aggressive can lead to increased defaults and losses.

Ultimately, the best credit scoring model for a lender will depend on a range of factors, including the lender's risk appetite, borrower population, and lending goals. Lenders should consider multiple factors, including accuracy, cost, and ease of use, when selecting a credit scoring model. Additionally, lenders should regularly review and update their credit scoring models to ensure they remain effective and relevant in a changing lending landscape.