WASHINGTON — Seth Appleton, President of U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI), issued the following statement on the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) announcement of the next phase of the public engagement process for the updated credit score requirements for loans acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the government-sponsored enterprises or GSEs):
“USMI applauds FHFA and Director Thompson’s responsiveness to concerns regarding the implementation of new credit score models and credit report requirements for mortgages acquired by the GSEs. The private mortgage insurance (MI) industry has served as an accessible route to homeownership for millions of home-ready borrowers over the past 66 years, and USMI’s members welcome robust engagement with FHFA, the GSEs, lenders, and other industry stakeholders to ensure a smooth implementation that promotes efficient market operations, supports borrowers’ continued access to mortgage financing, and protects taxpayers from undue credit risk.
“USMI looks forward to participating in the forthcoming forums and listening sessions to collaborate with policymakers and stakeholders to address issues, challenges, and opportunities associated with the implementation of new credit score requirements. As part of the expanded public engagement process, USMI encourages FHFA to direct the GSEs to release loan-level data for Classic FICO, FICO 10T, and VantageScore 4.0 to allow for comprehensive analysis and work toward a smooth transition and achievable timeline that minimizes costs and complexity.”
In May, USMI submitted supplemental comments and recommendations to the GSEs’ Credit Score Industry Engagement Survey to work towards facilitating a smooth transition to new credit score requirements. Additionally, in late June, USMI joined a coalition of industry trade associations and consumer advocate groups in sending a letter to advocate for adjustments to the implementation plan that would increase transparency, stakeholder feedback, and industry analysis of data related to the adoption of the FICO 10T and VantageScore 4.0 credit score models, as well as the new bi-merge credit reporting policy by the GSEs.
U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI) is dedicated to a housing finance system backed by private capital that enables access to housing finance for borrowers while protecting taxpayers. Mortgage insurance offers an effective way to make mortgage credit available to more people. USMI is ready to help build the future of homeownership. Learn more at www.usmi.org.