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Staircase, a company building a digital infrastructure to accelerate tech-enabled mortgages, on Thursday launched Credit Waterfall, a new application program interface (API).
Credit Waterfall enables lenders to switch between credit providers to get the best pricing and to securely share a borrower's credit data throughout their other systems, the company said. It also lets lenders toggle between "soft" and "hard" credit pulls, so they can better control expenses while protecting their leads from trigger credit-pull alerts at other lenders.
Most lenders currently order a borrower's credit through hard-wired connections between a single credit provider and their point-of-sale (POS) system or loan origination system (LOS), Staircase said. This fails to provide lenders with the best credit option for a particular scenario and prevents them from sharing a borrower's credit data with their other systems, driving up costs, it said.
"Pulling a borrower's credit to determine their eligibility for a loan is an essential part of the mortgage process, but also one of the largest sources of lender costs," said Soofi Safavi, Staircase co-founder and chief technology officer. "With Credit Waterfall, lenders now have the full breadth of choices when it comes to pulling a borrower's credit, with the best possible option chosen every single time, automatically. There's nothing else on the market like it."
"Most lenders are struggling to reduce expenses, especially given today's tight housing market," added Staircase CEO and co-founder Adam Kalamchi. "Yet, they are typically hamstrung by poor technology integrations and lack of credit options when qualifying borrowers. By performing a soft pull on a borrower's credit, Credit Waterfall enables lenders to check a borrower's credit earlier in the application process without tipping off competitors that their customer is in the market for financing."
Credit Waterfall is available through Staircase's low-code credit API, which allows lenders to switch from their current credit provider in just minutes, the company said.
With Credit Waterfall, lenders are charged only $1 to access any given credit provider. For $2, they can create a credit "waterfall," which uses dynamic business logic to choose the best solution from multiple credit providers.
In less than a month, Credit Waterfall develops a logical sequence to provide lenders with the optimal credit workflow for their organization's needs, Staircase said. Lenders pay nothing if Credit Waterfall does not return any results.
"Our customers on average reduce their credit expense by 33% right away and realize further savings with just a few weeks of fine tuning," Kalamchi said.
Beyond Credit Waterfall, Staircase's unique waterfall technology has numerous applications, enabling lenders and servicers to create automated, integrated loan-processing workflows using the optimum service partner or partners. If a partner does provide adequate results, Staircase automatically goes to other partners in waterfall fashion until the process is complete.
Staircase, based in Philadelphia, is an API and low-code marketplace that automates complex technologies and makes them self-serve for the U.S. residential mortgage industry.