Equifax Alternative Data Continues to Help Reshape Car Buying for Consumers

November 10, 2023

INVENTORY, INFLATION AND INTEREST RATES are just a few of the challenges consumers have faced during the last several years while searching for a vehicle that best fits their needs and budget. These primary concerns will likely continue to challenge the auto industry for the foreseeable future. 

As inventory levels started to right size, auto dealers were getting more vehicles delivered to their lots. While this was good news for dealers, a number of factors – including persistently higher inflation, rising interest rates and new financial challenges such as the start of interest and repayments of federal student loans – continue to make it challenging for consumers to afford a vehicle.

On September 15, the United Auto Workers (UAW) went on strike against the “Big Three”: Ford, GM, and Stellantis. While all three have reached tentative new agreements over the last few weeks and are working through the contract ratification process with their members, the strike has the potential to create a ripple effect and impact the consumer in the coming months with increased labor costs driving car prices ever higher.

As the auto industry navigates these challenges, Equifax helps dealers and lenders provide a more personalized, frictionless, efficient and secure buying experience with our data, analytics and technology solutions. By providing greater insights into future car buyers, lenders are able to help consumers find the vehicle that best fits their needs and budget. 

“Our use of differentiated data enables lenders to obtain a robust view of a consumer’s financial picture. This includes tools like the financial durability index that help lenders see how likely a household is to meet current and future financial obligations,” said Lena Bourgeois, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Automotive Services at Equifax U.S. Information Solutions. “Financial durability can help marketing and risk managers to develop strategies to differentiate consumers, inform pre-collections and assist with treatment prioritization for delinquent accounts.”

Additionally, alternative data scores like the Equifax Insight Score for Auto product uses insights such as telecommunications, PayTV and utility payment history to help lenders score 16% more consumers, which can help those new to credit or those who may be rebuilding their credit find the right financing for a vehicle.

“There is so much change happening in the industry and Equifax plays a key role in being the enabler – connecting manufacturers, dealers, indirect lenders as well as the technology platforms,” added Bourgeois. 

Learn more about how Equifax supports the car buying experience here.