Blend’s soft credit pull function supports Fannie Mae’s DU early assessment

Mortgage tech firm Blend aims to court more lenders as it now supports Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter (DU) early assessment enhancement with a direct integration from Blend’s soft credit pull function.

DU early assessment gives lenders more options for their pre-qualification process in DU. 

Lenders can submit a single soft pull credit file and receive a conditional DU recommendation, which can determine homebuyer preparedness and mortgage options earlier while consumers are spared the impact of a hard credit check.

In the face of the industry facing higher credit report fees, Blend rolled out its soft credit inquiry function for lenders in May, which can save lenders about $50 per file for borrowers, Blend said at the time of the launch.

“Early assessment in Desktop Underwriter can provide lenders with increased certainty during their pre-qualification process, which benefits borrowers as well,” said Mark Fisher, vice president of single-family credit risk solutions at Fannie Mae. 

“We’re pleased this offering is now available to enhance the experience for both lenders and borrowers at the beginning of the mortgage process, in particular allowing them to get an early look at eligibility for our mission-oriented options for credit-worthy borrowers,” Fisher said.

Lenders including — Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, U.S. Bank, and PNC Bank — saw significant cost savings and optimized their pre-qualification process, by adopting Blend’s soft credit pull function, Blend said.

In 2024, mortgage originators are expected to pay more to access consumer credit reports – regardless of soft and hard credit pulls. 

Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO), the company that retains the rights to the market’s adopted methodology to measure consumer credit risk, will charge one price – higher than the current price – to all mortgage lenders, independent of their volumes. 

FICO will also collect the same per score price for soft pulls and hard pulls next year, an initiative that started in 2023 despite significant differences in these products.

“FICO will collect approximately $10 total for all three scores out of a $50 (or more) tri-merge report and score bundle, which continues to constitute a low percentage (approximately 20% or less) of the overall cost of a tri-merge report,” a spokesperson for FICO wrote in a statement to HousingWire in December.