Westlake Financial will consider credit information from abroad when evaluating new U.S. immigrants for auto loans, according to its partner in this venture, Nova Credit.
Nova Credit obtains data from 16 countries' credit bureaus and converts it into a score and report intended for American underwriters. The startup, whose results are accepted by American Express in credit card applications, called the partnership with Westlake its first for the auto industry.
"Constant innovation is one of Westlake's core values, so opening up another avenue for potential customers through a first-of-its-kind partnership with Nova Credit aligns with our go-forward strategy," Westlake Technology Holdings Group President Ian Anderson said in a statement Oct. 12. "This unique partnership with Nova Credit not only allows us to extend our reach but also enables us to help newcomers realize their potential here in the United States. To be a part of that is truly fulfilling."
Nova Credit CEO and co-founder Misha Esipov called Westlake an innovative company familiar with data outside of traditional credit reports.
Nova Credit's website indicates Westlake can work with data from 15 countries, including U.S. neighbors Canada and Mexico but also more distant nations such as India, Nigeria and South Korea.
For now, what Nova Credit calls its "Credit Passport" is only an option for Westlake's direct auto lending customers, according to Esipov. But Nova Credit is working on connecting the process to indirect lending through Westlake's dealership partners.
"That is a companywide priority," Esipov said.