FinRegLab Events

Unlocking Doors: The Promise and Peril of Using Alternative Data in Mortgage Underwriting

About the Event

The use of utility, telecommunications, and rental (UTR) payment history in mortgage underwriting has attracted recent policy attention as a potential strategy to reduce the nation’s persistent homeownership and wealth gaps. Such data show how households manage their monthly expenses and could be particularly important for evaluating consumers who have little or no traditional credit history, including disproportionate numbers of households of color, consumers with low incomes, young adults, and recent immigrants.

Building on their report about the use of utility, telecommunications and rental payments history for credit underwriting, FinRegLab and the Urban Institute hosted a webinar in April 2022 to examine the current state of play and the evolving policy landscape. Leaders from the field discussed data access and quality and how to build more robust scoring and underwriting models.

Opening Remarks

Janneke Ratcliffe

Vice President for Housing Finance Policy

Overview of the Joint Report

Kelly Thompson Cochran

Deputy Director and Chief Program Officer

Michael Stegman

Nonresident Fellow, Housing Finance Plicy Center

Keynote Speaker

Teresa Bryce Bazemore

President and Chief Executive Officer

Panel 1: Building Better Models (With New and Old Data)

Michael Akinwumi

National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA)

David Battany

Executive Vice President, Capital Markets

Phillip W. Bracken

Managing Director, Government and Mortgage Industry Relations

Lester Firstenberger

Chief Executive Officer and Founder

Scott Zoldi

Chief Analytics Officer

Panel 2: Data Access Issues

Samir Goel


Jason Gross

Co-Founder & CEO

Talia Kahn-Kravis

Senior Manager, Innovations and CDFI Fund

Chi Chi Wu

National Consumer Law Center

Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy

National Housing and Economy Correspondent

Related Publications

  • Utility, Telecommunications, and Rental Data in Underwriting Credit

    FinRegLab partnered with the Urban Institute to detail twenty years of research and efforts to access utility, telecom, and rental payment history for credit scoring and underwriting. The paper describes recent initiatives and key challenges going forward.

  • Utility, Telecom & Rental Payment History

    Utility, telecom, and rental payment history can help to assess how credit applicants manage housing and other recurring expenses. FinRegLab and the Urban Institute have examined available research, historical and recent initiatives to increase data access and use for credit underwriting, and market and policy issues that will determine whether such efforts can reach scale. Learn More

About FinregLab

FinRegLab is an independent, nonprofit organization that conducts research and experiments with new technologies and data to drive the financial sector toward a responsible and inclusive marketplace. The organization also facilitates discourse across the financial ecosystem to inform public policy and market practices. To receive periodic updates on the latest research, subscribe to FRL’s newsletter and visit Follow FinRegLab on LinkedIn and Twitter (X). | 1701 K Street Northwest, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20006