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By Kevin Pipkins
In today’s lending landscape, rising inflation and interest rates continue to grab headlines. And according to Equifax risk experts, credit card use is also on the rise, along with consumer delinquency in some segments.¹
While these trends can be concerning, they also represent opportunity for responsible lenders to find new ways to support customers while still mitigating risk.
A 2022 survey from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) found that 37% of U.S. households could not cover expenses for more than a month if their main source of income was lost.² And nearly half of credit card users also don’t pay their full balance and instead “revolve” their debt from month to month.
This can add up to potentially rapid shifts in consumers’ debt-to-income (DTI) ratios and ability to pay. Which is exactly why you should regularly review your portfolio — including closely monitoring changes in employment and income, ideally on a monthly basis.
Even as markets rapidly change, you’ll have a better, more updated picture of how your portfolio is performing so you can stay ahead of any potential risk.
Aside from mitigating your risk exposure, more frequent portfolio reviews also provide opportunities to proactively identify current borrowers needing support in maintaining a line of credit. Generally, lenders review accounts for borrowers with an active line of credit to help the borrower maintain credit and, in some cases, increase credit availability.
When you notice signs of potential financial distress, like loss of income, you can take steps to connect customers with resources or accommodations before their account becomes delinquent. This personalized, proactive support builds loyalty.
Helping shepherding your customers through difficult financial times can help you establish yourself as the lender of choice. This can prove beneficial when customers are back on solid financial ground and still have you top of mind.
Staying ahead of a volatile market and supporting your customers in the face of economic headwinds starts with the right data. The Work Number provides crucial insight into previous and current income and employment data, so you can better manage risk and lend responsibly.
To learn more about the benefits of frequent portfolio reviews and how The Work Number can help, visit theworknumber.com.
“Don’t Miss Portfolio Review Musts to Stay Resilient.” https://www.equifax.com/resource/-/asset/video/do-not-miss-video/
“Making Ends Meet in 2022: Insights from the CFPB Making Ends Meet survey.” https://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/research-reports/insights-from-making-ends-meet-survey-2022/.