TransUnion acquires FactorTrust

CHICAGO - 

The company that deemed itself an alternative credit bureau now is a part of what traditionally has been one of the Big 3 credit history providers.

Late on Tuesday, TransUnion announced the acquisition of Used Car Week sponsor FactorTrust, a provider of alternative credit data, analytics and risk scoring information that can empower auto finance companies and other lenders to make more informed decisions while possibly increasing financial inclusion to a wider population of consumers.

The acquisition closed on Tuesday, and financial terms were not disclosed, according to a news release shared by TransUnion.

TransUnion highlighted the acquisition reinforces the company’s position as a provider of consumer reporting models that capture a wide range of positive payment behaviors.

Officials mentioned the addition of FactorTrust’s short-term and small dollar lending data to TransUnion’s suite of credit solutions gives lenders the information they need to offer responsible borrowers a broader range of credit products, supported by TransUnion’s robust data security, technology and customer service infrastructure.

The companies explained short-term and other small dollar loans are the largest category of consumer credit obligations not currently part of nationwide credit reporting agency databases. In many cases, historically underbanked consumers have selected short-term loans because an insufficient credit history left them with few options.

Officials went on to point out the breadth of data offered through TransUnion’s purchase of FactorTrust will provide finance companies and other lenders with a more comprehensive view of consumers’ financial obligations and payment performance, expanding consumer choice.

“Access to credit is the building block of a strong American middle-class economy,” said Jim Peck, TransUnion’s president and chief executive officer. “With the acquisition of FactorTrust, we will be able to capture a wider variety of positive data that can be a stepping stone to building consumers’ credit profiles, helping people access credit and, ultimately, improve their standard of living.”

TransUnion leadership also highlighted that adding small dollar loan data to its credit reporting framework also positions the company to help customers streamline compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new small dollar lending rule. The rule is designed to protect consumers from securing short-term and balloon-payment loans without the ability to repay according to the terms of the agreement.

With visibility into consumers’ traditional and alternative credit obligations, TransUnion contends that it will be able to provide all of the data lenders need to comply.

Meanwhile, the acquisition continues what has been a robust couple of years for FactorTrust.

Back in November 2015, FactorTrust closed on a $42 million investment led by ABS Capital Partners, a late-stage growth company investor, and MissionOG, an early to growth stage investor. Since that financial resource injection, FactorTrust added a former top official at the CFPB to its board of directors and made multiple appearances on the Inc. 5000 list that recognizes growth.

And now, FactorTrust is a part of TransUnion.

“Joining TransUnion is a great match for FactorTrust,” FactorTrust CEO Greg Rable said. “We share a commitment to serving consumers and customers with the highest ethical and compliance standards.

“Our products complement TransUnion’s slate of online and batch solutions, and our combined data will expand options for consumers and lenders,” Rable went on to say.

Now with FactorTrust as a part of its portfolio, TransUnion reiterated how the acquisition reinforces the company’s long history of market innovations that promote financial inclusion.

A pioneer in trended data, TransUnion believes its CreditVision Link Scores are the only scores in the market that combine directional trended data and alternative credit data, such as payment history and small dollar lending. CreditVision Link Scores allow lenders to score more than 60 million more people versus traditional models, and are proven to accurately score more than 90 percent of applicants typically returned as no-hit or thin-file.

FactorTrust’s short-term and small dollar loan data extends this inclusiveness.

“FactorTrust is a strong addition to TransUnion’s business,” said Steve Chaouki, executive vice president of TransUnion’s financial services business unit. “FactorTrust’s approach to complete tradeline reporting aligns with TransUnion’s business model, and the inclusion of more alternative data in financial institutions’ credit and underwriting decisions will enable our customers to better segment risk, allowing them to serve a broader set of customers across the credit spectrum.”

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