The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced additional opportunities for ongoing public engagement to facilitate the transition to updated credit score models and credit report requirements for loans acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises). This engagement, which will include stakeholder forums and listening sessions, will allow for identification of a wide variety of issues, opportunities, and challenges related to successful implementation of the new requirements, including potential refinements to the timeline for adoption.
“This engagement process represents the next logical step in our efforts to ensure robust public input as we work towards implementing the new credit score requirements at the Enterprises,” said FHFA Director Sandra L. Thompson. “We want to hear from market participants and impacted stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition that minimizes costs and complexity.”
In October 2022, FHFA announced the validation and approval of both the FICO 10T and VantageScore 4.0 credit score models for use by the Enterprises. The announcement followed a lengthy process of reviewing potential updates to the Enterprises’ credit score requirements, as required by statute and regulation. During this time, the Enterprises undertook rigorous testing of the models for which an application was received. Both of the newly approved models exceed the required thresholds for accuracy, reliability, and integrity. Following an extensive implementation process, the Enterprises will require scores from both models, when available, on all single-family loans they acquire.
In October 2022, FHFA also announced that the Enterprises would transition from a tri-merge requirement, in which credit reports are required from all three nationwide consumer reporting agencies, to a bi-merge requirement, in which credit reports are required from at least two of these agencies. FHFA expects this update will promote competition in the market while maintaining the information needed to support robust risk management. FHFA further expects that the implementation date for this bi-merge requirement will occur later than the first quarter of 2024, as was initially proposed.
Interested parties who wish to participate in this process should send their name, affiliation, and contact information to CreditScores@fhfa.gov. FHFA expects to provide further details to participants and hold initial sessions in the coming weeks. Those who wish to participate in the initial sessions should respond by September 25, 2023.