XML credit report option uses industry-standard data interchange layouts to accelerate transactions.
XML (Extensible Mark-up Language) is emerging as the way in which all kinds of transaction data is passed from computer to computer, and the MERit Credit Engine has optional modules that support the latest open standards for representing and handling credit report data with XML.
For credit reports, the most comprehensive XML specification is MISMO, provided by The Mortgage Banker's Association of America's Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization. The overall XML mortgage specification covers loan origination, real estate services, secondary marketing, and servicing. The MERit Credit Engine's XML option is able to provide data in the correct format for those parts of the standard related to credit reports: double or tri-merged (using the MCE merge option) as well as single-bureau.
The XML credit report standards now make it possible, in the home lending field, for identical data files to to be submitted to Fannie Mae as well as Freddie Mac for an underwriting decision.
HR-XML, from the HR-XML Consortium, is the standard for data exchange with XML in human resources applications. The MERit Credit Engine provides an option for rendering employment credit reports using the HR-XML specification.
Credit Bureau Data and XML
The process of correctly converting data from the three bureaus to a common format, then representing it as an industry standard XML credit report is something that the MERit Credit Engine is uniquely well qualified to perform. The XML option addresses the issues of proper layout, standardized tag and attribute names, and standardized data representation. Hundreds of lookup tables are processed for each credit report in order to ensure that the data, and the wording of each description conforms to the specifications.
The Document Type Definition (DTD)
The DTD, or Document Type Definition, is key to processing XML credit report data in a way that is compatible across an entire industry.
Tools are available for transforming the XML credit report data to other specifications. XML has the advantage of being extensible, so that custom tags to store other types of data can be added without breaking the original code. Within the MISMO specification, as well as the HR-XML specification, there is room for custom data, such as summary representations of the credit report data. The MERit Credit Engine is able to take advantage of this extensibility, providing easier processing and reduced development time.
XML credit report data can be handled manually, but the latest programming tools can relieve developers of the details. The Microsoft .NET (dot net) framework is based on XML, and its data access API (known as ADO .NET) encapsulates classes for reading, writing and the navigating XML data. Visual BASIC, Visual C++ and other programming tools are beginning to simplify all of this, both for standalone, and for web-based applications.
Being most comprehensive, the MISMO specification for credit reports is readily useable outside the mortgage industry, as well, but other industries are expected to introduce their own XML credit specifications. Please consult with MERit Systems about your particular needs.
XML and Decisioning
XML was conceived primarily as neutral self-describing way of transfering data from one party to another. Once it is at a particular destination, tools are available for importing XML to traditional database storage, or for handling the XML credit report data on a node-by-node basis.
Here is a glimpse of some of the XML credit report data that might exist for a liability item. You see things such as Account Identifier (the account number), open date, status date, creditor name, high credit amount, etc. A custom decision process can cycle through this and other information to arrive at a score or decision. This information can be used in other ways, as well, such as populating part of a loan application.