Nations Lending

Since 2003, Nations Lending has worked with homebuyers to find custom-tailored financial solutions to homeownership. Recognizing that each customer’s needs are unique, Nations Lending takes pride in developing personalized relationships built on trust.

The Challenge

Shifting market trends, including rising interest rates and declining refinance activity, have changed the mortgage lending landscape and have led many lenders to seek opportunities to serve more customers and stay ahead of their competition. Additionally, homebuyers are facing challenges from limited housing inventory, competition driven by multiple offers, and some sellers preferring offers with conventional loans. At Nations Lending, the sales team was determined to find new ways to successfully serve more homebuyers to make sure no loan is left on the table.

The Solution

By implementing positive rent payment history into their mortgage evaluation process, Nations Lending is helping more first-time homebuyers with limited credit history who otherwise might not be able to secure a mortgage. To ensure success, they are focused on finding homebuyers who may qualify and sharing data across their teams to take advantage of those opportunities.

To help this segment of homebuyers, Sales Manager Denise Alcorn incorporated a specific check for message 15 after casefiles run through Desktop Underwriter® (DU®) to see if including rent payments could improve the eligibility recommendation. She also verifies the key eligibility criteria for incorporating positive rent payment history: first-time homebuyer, credit score of at least 620, rent payments of $300 or more per month, and bank accounts documenting recurring rent payments for the most recent 12 months.

This has allowed Alcorn to identify and convert homebuyers who otherwise wouldn’t have qualified without their positive rent payment history to conventional loans. She said incorporating positive rent payment history has been especially helpful for people with limited credit history or people whose rent is higher than a potential mortgage.

“Nations works with Blend to provide 12-month asset reports to observe rent payments,” explains Nima Ghamsari, Co-founder and Head of Blend, a Technology Solution Provider. “This is a perfect example of how new technology is helping expand access to homeownership through the positive rent payment enhancement in DU, and we are thrilled to see Nations Lending serving unconventional but still creditworthy borrowers through Fannie Mae and Blend.”

The market has changed so much over the past year. This is making a difference in helping borrowers buy a home.

Occasionally, homebuyers are concerned about providing consent to run a digital verification of assets (VOA) report from their bank(s). To solve this, Alcorn explains the process to the homebuyer and emphasizes that by submitting their information electronically, the verification of their rent payment history may help them qualify for the loan. She reinforces the fact that this process will not affect the homebuyer’s credit score. She underscores that data gathered during the VOA process is not shared with third parties, and the lender does not have direct access to the homebuyer’s bank account. Once the homebuyer is educated about the process, they seldom have an issue with providing the information electronically, Alcorn says.

Nations Lending has streamlined the process across the sales force by leveraging data in the Fannie Mae Connect™ report to flag loan casefiles that might change to Approve/Eligible in DU with rent payments. According to Product Development Vice President Lloyd Rutherford, sharing information provided by the report with the lending teams is key to increasing adoption of positive rent payment history. Because less experienced loan officers may miss potential opportunities, Nations Lending provides them with a list of files that need the VOA re-run. They create this list by converting the Fannie Mae Connect report information to a data visualization report, which is updated daily and distributed to branch managers who pass it along to their lending teams. Nations Lending is striving for 100% adoption of the positive rent payment history process to maintain a competitive edge in today’s market.


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