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Liz Pagel Joins Forbes Finance Council, Publishes First Contribution on Alternative Data and Financial Inclusion

Liz Pagel Headshot - 1

TransUnion's Senior Vice President and Consumer Lending Leader Liz Pagel recently joined the Forbes Finance Council as a contributor, leveraging her knowledge on the evolving consumer credit landscape to highlight TransUnion’s mission of “Information for Good.” In her first piece, "How Businesses and Consumers Both Win in an Alt-Data Landscape," Pagel delves into the transformative potential of alternative data in credit reporting.

The op-ed sheds light on non-traditional sources of data like rental payments and utility bills, which have the potential to serve as reliable indicators of a consumer's financial behavior. These data points are often unreported, resulting in missed opportunities for consumers and businesses alike.

TransUnion’s Q4 Consumer Pulse Survey found that only about half of consumers feel they have sufficient access to credit and lending products, while 29 percent of consumers reported abandoning credit applications due to concerns that they would get rejected.

Alternative data can help change all that, particularly for underserved communities. By incorporating a broader range of financial behaviors into credit assessments, lenders can more accurately evaluate creditworthiness, and millions of consumers can better represent themselves in the marketplace, potentially transitioning from unscoreable to scoreable. This benefits ultimately consumers and enables businesses to tap into a larger pool of potential customers.

“Alternative data reflects behaviors and activity on non-credit accounts that can dramatically enhance a lender’s ability to assess a consumer’s creditworthiness. Case in point: rent reporting alone could move one in ten consumers from unscorable to scoreable, with an average near prime credit score of 631.”

The op-ed also highlights opportunities like the "The Credit Access and Inclusion Act," legislation pending before Congress which encourages property owners, utilities, and telecommunications companies to furnish payment information on behalf of their customers.

Read the full op-ed on Forbes and stay tuned for more content that will shape discussions and drive positive change for credit reporting and financial inclusion.

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