The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced the validation and approval of both the FICO 10T credit score model and the VantageScore 4.0 credit score model for use by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises).
“Today’s decision will benefit borrowers and the Enterprises, along with maintaining safety and soundness,” said FHFA Director Sandra L. Thompson. “While implementing the newer credit score models is a significant change that will take time and require close coordination across the industry, the models bring improved accuracy and a more inclusive approach to evaluating borrowers.”
FHFA expects that implementation of FICO 10T and VantageScore 4.0 will be a multiyear effort. Once implemented, lenders will be required to deliver both FICO 10T and VantageScore 4.0 credit scores with each loan sold to the Enterprises. FHFA and the Enterprises will conduct outreach to stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition to the newer credit score models.
For nearly 20 years, the Enterprises have relied on Classic FICO. Today’s announcement is the result of a years-long effort by FHFA and the Enterprises to implement Section 310 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. The new models improve accuracy by capturing new payment histories for borrowers when available, such as rent, utilities, and telecom payments.
FHFA also announced today that the Enterprises will work toward changing the requirement that lenders provide credit reports from all three nationwide consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). Instead, the Enterprises will require lenders to provide credit reports from two of the three nationwide CRAs. The Enterprises will work with stakeholders on a plan for implementing the change from a tri-merge credit report requirement to a bi-merge credit report requirement.