Leeds Building Society and Experian Pioneer New Credit Scoring Approach for First-Time Buyers

Property Buyers
June 08, 2023

Leeds Building Society, a leading UK mortgage lender, is revolutionising the credit scoring system for first-time home buyers. In a pioneering collaboration with Experian, the renowned credit reference agency, Leeds Building Society is launching a novel credit scoring model considering a broader range of payments.

Rethinking Traditional Credit Scoring

Historically, credit scores primarily encompass repayments for debt, such as credit cards, mortgages, or loans. This new approach by Leeds significantly widens this scope. First-time buyers applying for a mortgage can validate their financial history through other routine direct debits from the past 12 months. This includes council tax payments, subscriptions, and even everyday entertainment payments like Netflix and Spotify.

This groundbreaking approach seeks to empower a broader demographic of first-time buyers, enabling them to secure a mortgage and step onto the property ladder.

Embracing Experian Boost and Open Banking

At the heart of this innovative credit scoring system is Experian's free Experian Boost service, adopted and integrated by Leeds Building Society. It will demonstrate an applicant's ability to maintain regular payments, providing a comprehensive and authentic overview of their financial reliability.

Experian Boost utilises Open Banking to examine payments made through an applicant's current account. Open Banking is a secure, regulated platform that allows you to share your banking data with third parties. This is only possible with explicit consent, ensuring your data privacy and control are always prioritised.

Despite Experian Boost being free for consumers, Leeds Building Society is the trailblazer for lending decisions, offering unparalleled benefits to first-time home buyers.

Impact on Mortgage Applicants

Initial testing for this new approach showed promising results. Around 7.5% of applicants improved their credit scores by using Experian Boost. This improvement could be the critical difference between qualifying for a mortgage and being denied for many first-time buyers.

This new credit-scoring model is particularly advantageous for younger borrowers, first-time buyers, and those on lower incomes. These groups often face the most significant challenges in establishing creditworthiness. The majority of existing Experian Boost users are renters, a group poised to benefit enormously from this novel system.

Understanding Credit Scores

Credit reference agencies like Experian evaluate credit scores. They collect information about you from registers, lenders, and service providers. Various factors influence your credit score, including credit applications, borrowed amounts, and missed or late payments.

For Experian, a credit score above 721 is deemed 'good' while scores above 961 are rated excellent. Your credit score plays a significant role in acquiring a mortgage. Lenders assess your score to determine the risk associated with lending to you. Therefore, maintaining a good credit score enhances your chances of securing a mortgage at a favourable interest rate.

Additional Initiatives for First-Time Buyers

Leeds Building Society's initiative isn't the only one making waves. Skipton Building Society recently launched the first 100% mortgage since 2008, which allows first-time buyers to purchase property without a deposit or guarantor.

Another groundbreaking scheme is the Save to Buy initiative by Fairview New Homes. This initiative permits first-time buyers to move into their homes and pay a fixed rent for six months to two years. The money is then saved and used as a deposit to qualify for a mortgage.

These novel initiatives, including Leeds Building Society's new credit scoring approach, can pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable mortgage industry. Regardless of their financial history, first-time buyers are now offered more opportunities than ever to realise their dream of homeownership.

The Promise of Open Banking

The Open Banking revolution unlocks new possibilities, empowers individuals, and creates more inclusive financial ecosystems. By enabling consumers to share their banking data with regulated third parties, Open Banking has the potential to reshape the mortgage lending landscape dramatically.

This advancement brings consumers new levels of transparency and control. You're no longer solely reliant on traditional methods of proving your creditworthiness. As Leeds Building Society has demonstrated, Open Banking can provide a fuller, more accurate reflection of your financial health. In turn, this leads to more informed lending decisions and better, fairer outcomes for borrowers.

The Changing Face of Creditworthiness

This groundbreaking collaboration between Leeds Building Society and Experian pushes the boundaries of how we view creditworthiness. The credit score has been considered rigid and immovable for too long. However, including diverse payments in credit scoring equations reveals a more accurate reflection of an individual's financial behaviour.

Payments for council tax, subscriptions, and streaming services like Netflix and Spotify have been overlooked in traditional credit scoring models. Yet, these regular outgoings represent a consistent financial commitment that, when viewed through the lens of Open Banking, can serve as a testament to financial responsibility.

The Future of Mortgage Lending

As more and more mortgage lenders harness the potential of Open Banking and innovative credit reference services like Experian Boost, we will likely see a paradigm shift in how first-time buyers are assessed. This new approach can extend the property ladder to more people, particularly those who may not have been able to prove their creditworthiness through traditional methods.

Introducing this initiative by Leeds Building Society marks a turning point in the UK mortgage industry, enabling a more inclusive and dynamic market. It recognises the evolving landscape of personal finance and the need for more holistic and fair credit assessment processes.

This evolution in credit scoring signals a new era in mortgage lending. An era characterised by inclusivity, innovation, and an unwavering commitment to better serve the needs of all borrowers.

Navigating the complexities of the property market can take time and effort, particularly for first-time buyers. If you're exploring property opportunities or looking to sell your property in Preston, Blackpool, Morecambe, Chorley, Lancaster, Cleveleys, St Annes or any other area we cover, we recommend contacting your local estate agent Farrell Heyworth. With a deep understanding of the local market and a commitment to personalised service, Farrell Heyworth can guide you seamlessly through your journey.


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