The tool, which sits on credit reference agency Experian’s website, aims to speed up and simplify a consumer’s application process by offering a research tool at the information-gathering stage and signposts the borrower on to seek advice from intermediaries.
The tool is being piloted on Experian comparison site CreditMatcher and will initially be made available to 50% of customers visiting the site. CreditMatcher currently offers access to credit cards, loans, insurance and utility providers. The function will help people find out which mortgages they are likely to be accepted for and how much they could borrow, based on the limited pool of lenders’ criteria.
Experian said: “Equipped with this enhanced understanding of their eligibility for different options, consumers will be more informed when they speak to a mortgage broker for professional advice, which could help them save time.”
Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) research suggests 64% of brokers confirm the failure to meet a lender’s criteria as a key frustration for consumers when applying for a mortgage.
Amir Goshtai, managing director of propositions and partnerships, Experian, said: “We are working with lenders to simplify this process and are delighted to offer a service that can help customers see the mortgages they are eligible for, before they make a full application. Our focus is to help people be more confident with their finances and this represents a strong step in that direction, through one of life’s most stressful purchases.”
The pilot is part of the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory sandbox created by Innovate, which enables businesses to test innovative products, services, models and delivery mechanisms in a live environment. The sandbox provides innovators such as Experian with support to navigate the regulatory system and promote competition in the interests of consumers.