Experian, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based information services provider, recently has released two tools, Income Insight and Income View, designed to help lenders better assess prospective borrowers' ability to repay loans.

Income Insight is a service that estimates a prospective borrower's verified income and credit score. Income Insight provides a clearer view of a prospective borrower's total financial situation, including existing debt-to-income ratios, compared with previous Experian modules, according to the company.

"With a number of new or proposed lending regulations, there is an increasing emphasis being placed on more diligent and more informed lending," said Steven Wagner, president of Experian Consumer Information Services. "Our new 'ability to pay' products are an important part of this continuously changing picture. The capability to accurately estimate or verify a borrower's income provides a key insight into that consumer's ability to repay a loan."

Experian also launched Income View, which the company says provides secure delivery of prospective borrowers' income tax return summaries within two days of a lender's request. The tool, which mortgage lenders have relied on heavily for years, helps to eliminate fraud in credit card applications by flagging discrepancies in stated income, Social Security number, filing status, name or address, according to the company.

Experian says it designed both tools to help card issuers further refine their risk-management strategies based on the changing economy and the requirements of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act.

"Card issuers are looking for a broad means to assess income and assets in conjunction with prospective borrowers' existing payment obligations," says Eric Haller, Experian vice president of marketing.

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