The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced this week that Fannie Mae will consider a loan applicant’s rental payment history in making underwriting decisions.  According to the FHFA, the change was made as a means of expanding credit access.

The FHFA’s announcement is yet another example of the growing use of alternative data by creditors in making credit decisions.  In December 2019, the CFPB, OCC, Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, and NCUA issued an “Interagency Statement on the Use of Alternative Data in Credit Underwriting,” that forth the agencies’ recognition of the benefits of using alternative data in credit decisions.