Data Driven Marketing

4 Tips to Capture Consumers In-Market for New Credit

4 Tips to Capture Consumers In-Market for New Credit

April 03, 2024 | Jeff Sporn

At some point in almost every person’s life, there is a need to borrow money or have access to credit. Consumers need credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, and more.

The takeaway is that there are millions of consumers that are likely in-need of credit. And that a segment of them are actively searching for credit right now. 

This presents an opportunity for lenders. If lenders can quickly identify consumers seeking new credit, they can immediately reach out and deliver their offers.

These consumers are more likely to say yes to your offers. Which means you can increase your chance of gaining more new customers.

Consider these questions: Can your firm identify credit-seekers that are likely to be actively on the hunt for new credit? If so, how fast can you identify them? How quickly can you respond with Prescreen and ITA offers to capture their business?

Here are a few tips that lenders can apply to better reach consumers when they are ready for new credit.

1. Use daily alerts of consumers actively in-market for credit to fuel Prescreen

Let’s say a consumer fills out a prequalification at another lender to check their eligibility for new credit. Or the consumer completes a credit application at another firm. Either way, this consumer is seeking new credit. 

This consumer could become a potential new lending customer for your firm. But for that to happen, you need to know that this consumer is actively in the market for new credit. Then you need to deliver your own firm offer quickly if you want to be part of the consumer’s consideration set.

You can be notified of consumers who have taken action to acquire new credit with daily inquiry-based alerts. This includes alerts triggered by inquiries across all major tradelines. Here’s how this works:

  • A consumer - Mike - prequalifies or applies for a new credit card. 

  • Mike’s prequalification or credit card application triggers an inquiry. 

  • Then, you get a daily list of all the consumers that are in-market for a new credit card that meet your lending criteria - including Mike.

With this knowledge, you can quickly deliver your own Prescreen credit card offer to Mike. And to the other consumers that are in-market for a new credit card. You get your brand on Mike’s radar, likely before he decides which credit card offer best meets his needs. 

Since alerts include inquiries based on prequalifications, you will be notified early in the consumer’s credit decision-making process. Preliminary analysis shows that the addition of prequalifications can increase total alert volume by about 30% over alerts based only on credit applications. This allows you to reach a broader set of in-market consumers with your Prescreen offers -  before they make their credit decision.

Inquiry-based alerts can also be used to identify your existing customers that may be seeking credit from another lender. For example, you could monitor all of your deposit customers to identify which are in-market for a new auto loan. Then, you can initiate cross-sell efforts and deliver your own auto loan firm offer to those customers. Plus, you can use that knowledge to better understand your customers’ overall credit needs, initiate customer outreach efforts, and boost retention efforts.

2. Leverage insight on consumer intent to further enhance Prescreen targeting

There is another group of consumers whom you should deliver your Prescreen credit offers to quickly: those who are likely to open new credit in the next few months. 

To determine who these consumers are, we look at the characteristics of consumers that have opened new credit in select tradelines (auto loan, bankcard, mortgage, home equity line of credit). Then, we create intent scores to identify likely acquisition prospects with those same characteristics.

With these scores, you can better pinpoint consumers with the propensity to open new or additional credit. Importantly, the scores identify consumers likely to want new credit within the next two to four months. These are consumers you should market to now!

How can you use intent scores? Use them as part of your Prescreen criteria. You can also layer them on top of your daily alerts of in-market credit-seekers (see above tip!). Then you will have the combined power of targeting consumers that have both taken action to acquire new credit AND that have the propensity to open new credit in the near-term. That’s a pretty powerful combination. Plus it is a great way to capture business from consumers that may be taking a little more time with their credit decision. 

3. Fuel your ITA segmentation to reach prospects likely to pursue new credit 

How are you determining who to target for your ITA campaigns? Many lenders use ITA to attract new consumers for their lending products. ITA campaigns can also help build brand awareness across a broad spectrum of consumers. But targeting the right audience for your ITA campaigns is critical to prospecting success.

A key way to boost ITA segmentation is to target households that are likely to take action in the next 90 days. Namely, households that are likely to open new credit or respond to a credit offer in the near-term.

These credit intent indicators are a little different than the intent scores described in tip 2 as they are specifically designed to enhance ITA segmentation. How so? They are based on aggregated data and are not subject to FCRA regulations. Thus they offer a cost-efficient way to leverage predictive credit data for enhanced ITA segmentation.

For example, you can design your ITA campaigns to target households that are likely to open a new account for a credit card or bank card. You can also choose to target households likely to respond to a card offer. There are also indicators for mortgage, auto, consumer finance, and student loans. 

4. Fine-tune targeting for your online ITA campaigns to reach audiences likely to respond     

Every day, more lenders are joining the crowd to advertise their credit cards, auto loans, and other lending offers online. For your ITA advertising to successfully drive new business, ads need to be viewed by the right audience.

What’s the right audience for your campaigns? Many components could factor into your targeting criteria. Make sure that consumers that are likely in-market for or likely to respond to a new loan offer make the cut. That could include online audiences such as the following.

  • 17.7% of households are very likely in market for a new auto loan

  • 25.3% of households are likely to be responsive to a credit card offer

Multiple criteria can be combined to fine-tune online targeting. For example, you might choose to combine one of the above segments with aggregated FICO® score range, likely income range, or financial durability segments. This can allow you to reach audiences that likely have both the interest and the financial capacity for your offers. Plus, the segments are commonly available across digital marketing platforms so they are easy to test. 

As an alternative, you can choose to onboard your offline, in-market Prescreen and ITA segments to a digital format. Then you can deliver your lending messages to those audiences online. Either way, the idea is to get more audiences that are likely interested in acquiring new credit to see your lending offers. 

Reach consumers that are ready for new credit

Fuel your next Prescreen and ITA campaign with these strategies  to reach more consumers likely to be ready for your lending offers. Check out additional tips to enhance your acquisition efforts in our ebook.


Statistics and results may vary.
Jeff Sporn

Jeff Sporn

Chief Digital Officer, Data-driven Marketing

Jeff Sporn guides the Digital vision and strategy for Data-driven Marketing services from Equifax, overseeing the development and proliferation of digital solutions. He has led the development of a best-in-class database that integrates Equifax marketing data into the digital ecosystem for use in optimizing display ad[...]