Industry NewsMortgage

$200M program targets borrowers with thin credit history

Washington, D.C., pilot program uses new Anthem credit score

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Borrowers in the Washington, D.C., area with little or no credit history who might otherwise pay extra for a subprime loan may be eligible for more affordable, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages through a $200 million pilot program. The "R-Home" mortgage program, funded by State Farm (Insurance) and Fannie Mae, will employ an alternative credit scoring system that uses nontraditional payment history such as rent, utility bills and child care payments to evaluate the creditworthiness of borrowers who have thin or nonexistent credit files. The scoring system, Anthem, was developed by First American Corp. and is used by Neighborhood Housing Services of America (NHSA), a California-based nonprofit that buys mortgage loans from nonprofits around the nation. State Farm has committed to buy $100 million in mortgages from companies partnering in the R-Home program, while Fannie Mae plans to repurchase $100 million in R-Home mortgages through a contract with NHSA. NHSA has provided ...