US 20100023448 A1
Embodiments of an online credit application system are described. The online credit application system displays a solicitation page requesting user credit score information and a selection of desired loan products. The user credit score information comprises a user's characterization of their own credit score. The system can be configured to obtaining the credit score for the user if the user does not provide the credit score in response to the solicitation. In response to the user's inquiry and information, the system displays a list of available loans based on the credit score and the selection of desired loan products. The user then selects a loan from the selection of desired loan products, after which the system requests user identification information to verify user qualification for the selected loan. Upon provisional qualification of the user for the loan product, the system obtains an actual credit score for the user based on detailed personal information of the user. It then transmits the user information to a lender and provides a transaction reference number to the user.
1. A method comprising:
receiving a user request to apply for a loan;
displaying, in response to the user request, on a client computer a web page soliciting user input of information regarding the loan;
receiving from the user an estimation of the credit worthiness of the user;
displaying on the client computer a list of available loans based on the loan information provided by the user and the estimation of the credit worthiness of the user;
receiving a loan selection from the user; and
soliciting detailed financial information from the user to determine if the user provisionally qualifies for the selected loan.
The present application claims the benefit of the U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/792,079 entitled “Online Loan Application System Using Borrower Profile Information,” and filed on Apr. 14, 2006.
Embodiments of the invention relate generally to electronic commerce systems, and more specifically, to online loan and credit application systems.
A multitude of different loan products and credit cards are available to borrowers. A person's ability to obtain loans or credit cards at favorable rates and terms, however, depends on that person's credit score, as well as other possible criteria. Generally a credit score reflects a person's creditworthiness and is expressed as a number that represents a risk level to a lender. The higher the credit score, the more creditworthy a person is. A high credit score generally allows a person to borrow money at better rates and under better terms. Financial institutions typically offer many different loan or credit products depending upon the financial profile of the borrowers. Under present loan application systems, a borrower must typically shop for a loan by making inquiries to the different financial institutions or shop through loan brokers. Such a process is typically very time consuming and often does not give the borrower a complete picture of what is available. With the advent of web-based processes, online systems for shopping for loans have become available. These systems however, may only provide only a general selection of loan products that are available and not an accurate selection of products based on the qualifications of the borrower. Moreover, such systems may require that the lender or broker pull the borrowers credit report. If a person uses such a system to shop among a variety of different products, this can adversely affect the person's credit rating since multiple credit report pulls can lower the person's credit rating.
Embodiments of the present invention are illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the figures of the accompanying drawings, in which like references indicate similar elements and in which:
Embodiments of an online credit application system are described. Aspects of the one or more embodiments described herein may be implemented on one or more computers executing software instructions. The computers may be networked in a client-server arrangement or similar distributed computer network.
In one embodiment, the server computer 104 is a World-Wide Web (WWW) server that stores data in the form of web pages and transmits these pages as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) files over the Internet 110 to the client computer 102. For this embodiment, the client computer 102 typically runs a web browser program 114 to access the web pages served by server computer 104 and any available content provider or supplemental server 103.
In one embodiment, server 104 in network system 100 is a server that executes a server side online credit application process 112. Client versions of this process 107 may also be executed on the client computers. This process may represent one or more executable programs modules that are stored within network server 104 and executed locally within the server. Alternatively, however, it may be stored on a remote storage or processing device coupled to server 104 or network 110 and accessed by server 104 to be locally executed. In a further alternative embodiment, the online credit application process 112 may be implemented in a plurality of different program modules, each of which may be executed by two or more distributed server computers coupled to each other, or to network 110 separately.
For an embodiment in which network 110 is the Internet, network server 104 executes a web server process 116 to provide HTML documents, typically in the form of web pages, to client computers coupled to the network. To access the HTML files provided by server 104, client computer 102 executes a web browser process 114 that accesses web pages available on server 104 and other Internet server sites, such as content provider 103 (which may also be a network server executing a web server process). The client computer 102 may access the Internet 110 through an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Data for any of the loan products, credit card products, debt products, user information, and the like may be provided by a data store 120 closely or loosely coupled to any of the server 104 and/or client 102. In one embodiment, the client computer may execute a client side credit application program 107 to interact with the server-side online credit application process 112. A separate content provider 103 may provide some of the data that is included in the product offering or application process.
The client computer 102 may be a workstation computer or it may be a computing device such as a notebook computer, personal digital assistant, or the like. The client computer may also be embodied within a mobile communication device 118, game console, media playback unit, or similar computing device that provides access to the Internet network 110 and a sufficient degree of user input and processing capability to execute or access the client-side credit application program 107. The client computers 102 and 118 may be coupled to the server computer 104 over a wired connection, a wireless connection or any combination thereof.
In one embodiment an online credit application system 112 facilitates the loan selection and application process through the display of loan application interfaces to a user.
In one embodiment, the server computer 104 has access to a wide variety of different loan products available from any number of commercial or private lenders or financial institutions. Typically these products are accessed through a variety of networks and stored in databases maintained by these lenders. Alternatively, these products may be consolidated and stored in a single (or virtually single) database that is accessible to the server, such as on a data store 120 or data store 122 maintained by a separate server 103.
For the embodiment of
Once the server has the user's credit score, or other pertinent credit information, it matches this information against the lending criteria for the loan product that the user originally selected, block 306. It also matches this information against the lending criteria for other products in the database, block 308. The server then returns the results of the original product match and all other offers that might match the credit score or information of the user, block 310.
For the embodiment of
In one embodiment, the network 110 is the Internet, and server 104 executes a web server process 116 to allow users to access the online credit application process 112 through a web based interface through client-side web browsers 114. As shown in block 202 of
Once the user provides the relevant information and loan product selection, the server searches its database and displays the possible products, as shown in block 204 of
Depending upon a user's credit score, the number of loan products may vary. In general, fewer loan products are available to users with lower credit scores, and such loan products tend to be more expensive (in terms of interest rate or fees) or restrictive.
When the selection button for a particular loan product is selected, the server causes a qualification page to be displayed, which allows the user to find out whether or not they actually qualify for the loan product that they have selected.
As shown in the process flow of
In one embodiment, the online credit application process 112 can provide access to lenders websites directly to allow users to select loan products through the lender sites.
For the process flow illustrated in
In block 1108 the server evaluates the financial information and the selected loan requirements to determine if the user provisionally qualifies for the selected loan. If, in block 1110 it is determined that the user does not qualify for the selected loan product, a page stating probable non-approval with a selection of other possible loans is then displayed, as shown in block 1112. The user may choose to apply for another loan within this new selection of loans. If the user does select such a loan, the system receives the user selection of loans from the list of other possible loans, block 1113, and the process proceeds with block 1114.
If, in block 1110 it is determined that the user does likely qualify for the selected loan product, the server displays a success page stating that the user will most likely be approved for the loan offer, block 1114. This page also provides input areas for the user to provide detailed user information so that relevant credit information can be obtained, and the system collects the user provided information. This user information includes relevant identifying information, such as user name, address, date of birth, and social security number. In block 1116, the server uses the user identification information, including the social security number (if provided by the user) to obtain the actual credit score for the user. If the social security number is not provided, then the other identifying information is used. The server then transmits all of the relevant user and selected loan product information to the appropriate lender, and transmits an application reference number back to the user, block 1118.
As shown in
If the user provisionally qualifies for the loan, the process provides displays an application page to the user.
In one embodiment, the online loan application process also provides a user feedback mechanism, such as a forum, whereby users of the process can rate the lenders and/or loan products. The process provides a rating system that allows user to enter a numeric, or similar rating, or a descriptive evaluation of the lenders and products accessed through the system.
Embodiments of the online loan application system described herein may be applied to various types of loan or credit products, such as residential, consumer or mortgage loans, credit cards, rotating lines of credit, and the like. In general, the application for any such loan or credit product requires the lender to obtain a copy the user's credit report. Such a credit report is typically maintained and made available by credit bureaus such as Equifax™, Experian™, or Transunion™. When a user requests a credit report, the user's credit rating may be adversely affected. In general, multiple credit report pulls results in the lowering of a user's credit rating. Embodiments of the present invention allow a user to apply for loan or credit products in a manner that does not directly result in his or her credit report being pulled, and thus does not adversely affect the credit rating. This is accomplished by the user providing the system with his or her credit score directly, or having the credit bureau itself perform the match between the user credit score and the desired loan product and not sending the credit score out to the lender. Such “below the line” credit reporting protects the integrity of the user's personal information and does not adversely affect the credit score, because the credit report is not transferred out, thus the system administrator or any other third party does not take possession of the credit report.
Aspects of the online loan and credit application system described herein may be implemented as functionality programmed into any of a variety of circuitry, including programmable logic devices (“PLDs”), such as field programmable gate arrays (“FPGAs”), programmable array logic (“PAL”) devices, electrically programmable logic and memory devices and standard cell-based devices, as well as application specific integrated circuits. Some other possibilities for implementing aspects of the method include: microcontrollers with memory (such as EEPROM), embedded microprocessors, firmware, software, etc. Furthermore, aspects of the described method may be embodied in microprocessors having software-based circuit emulation, discrete logic (sequential and combinatorial), custom devices, fuzzy (neural) logic, quantum devices, and hybrids of any of the above device types. The underlying device technologies may be provided in a variety of component types, e.g., metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (“MOSFET”) technologies like complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (“CMOS”), bipolar technologies like emitter-coupled logic (“ECL”), polymer technologies (e.g., silicon-conjugated polymer and metal-conjugated polymer-metal structures), mixed analog and digital, and so on.
It should also be noted that the various functions disclosed herein may be described using any number of combinations of hardware, firmware, and/or as data and/or instructions embodied in various machine-readable or computer-readable media, in terms of their behavioral, register transfer, logic component, and/or other characteristics. Computer-readable media in which such formatted data and/or instructions may be embodied include, but are not limited to, non-volatile storage media in various forms (e.g., optical, magnetic or semiconductor storage media) and carrier waves that may be used to transfer such formatted data and/or instructions through wireless, optical, or wired signaling media or any combination thereof. Examples of transfers of such formatted data and/or instructions by carrier waves include, but are not limited to, transfers (uploads, downloads, e-mail, etc.) over the Internet and/or other computer networks via one or more data transfer protocols (e.g., HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and so on).
Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description and the claims, the words “comprise,” “comprising,” and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense; that is to say, in a sense of “including, but not limited to.” Words using the singular or plural number also include the plural or singular number respectively. Additionally, the words “herein,” “hereunder,” “above,” “below,” and words of similar import refer to this application as a whole and not to any particular portions of this application. When the word “or” is used in reference to a list of two or more items, that word covers all of the following interpretations of the word: any of the items in the list, all of the items in the list and any combination of the items in the list.
The above description of illustrated embodiments of the online loan and credit application system is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the embodiments to the precise form or instructions disclosed. While specific embodiments of, and examples for, the online loan and credit application system are described herein for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications are possible within the scope of the described embodiments, as those skilled in the relevant art will recognize.
The elements and acts of the various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments. These and other changes can be made to the online loan application system in light of the above detailed description.
In general, in any following claims, the terms used should not be construed to limit the described system to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification and the claims, but should be construed to include all operations or processes that operate under the claims. Accordingly, the described system is not limited by the disclosure, but instead the scope of the recited method is to be determined entirely by the claims.
While certain aspects of the online loan application system may be presented in certain claim forms, the inventor contemplates the various aspects of the methodology in any number of claim forms. For example, while only one aspect of the system is recited as embodied in machine-readable medium, other aspects may likewise be embodied in machine-readable medium. Accordingly, the inventor reserves the right to add additional claims after filing the application to pursue such additional claim forms for other aspects of the described systems and methods.