It's a finance and insurance manager's biggest challenge: a customer who's ready to buy but has no credit score.
Not a bad score. None.
In the past, there was very little that could be done if a shopper had no credit score, due to, say, a personal bankruptcy filing that erased his or her credit history.
Today, though, lenders can tap a new array of technology, relying on nontraditional credit data for insight into a consumer's debt-management history. That can overcome a missing credit score and other problems.
Those tools mean lenders can be far more confident about the quality of their loans, even as the portion of automotive lending that goes to subprime borrowers continues to rise. Today's lenders know more about the details of those borrowers than they did even two years ago.
And when lenders are confident, more vehicles get sold.
Peter Turek, TransUnion's vice president of automotive, says nontraditional data help "expand the universe of potential borrowers for lenders." TransUnion can provide a clearer picture of a person's credit history by using cell phone, cable and utility records.