Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nova a "consumer reporting agency" like TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax?
Yes. The FCRA defines a "consumer reporting agency" as any person which engages in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information for the purpose of furnishing it to third parties.
One difference between Nova and "nationwide CRAs" (i.e. Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) is that Nova is a "reseller" that assembles and distributes information contained in the databases of other credit bureaus.
Which country reports are available?
Currently available through CBA's partnership with Nova are reports from Mexico, India, Canada, U.K., and Australia.
Nova Credit Inc. is continuously expanding their country list.
What is the price for this service?
Reports are discounted to $9 a piece (for those reports that come back with information). The intention is that the report is a one-time expense; consumers will hopefully build credit locally upon initial access.
This set-up fee is currently waived. Note that this could change at any time and you should refer to your contract for exact details.
How frequently do you get a full report when ordered?
Current estimates are about 80% of inquiries return a full credit report. This may vary by country and some demographic categories.
How long does it take to access a Nova Credit Passport™ report?
The initial credentialing process typically takes three weeks. CBA will support members in this process. Organizational documents required include a copy of the 501(c)3 certificate and lending license.
Once credentialed, in seconds. Nova Credit Passports™ are available in real-time (instantly) once a consumer has been found and authenticated in the overseas bureau database.
Who uses Nova Credit Passport™ reports today?
Nova Credit has a wide range of customers, including leading financial institutions providing student loans, personal unsecured loans, point-of-sale financing, and other forms of credit. Nova Credit also works with leading property managers and tenant screeners to facilitate apartment rentals and housing arrangements for consumers with overseas credit history.
Among CBA members, those in states with many recent (3 or 4 years) immigrants may find the report a great entry point for lending.
I'm unfamiliar with overseas credit reports. How will I understand credit files provided by Nova?
You will receive the Nova Credit Passport™ file, which is a single, standard format that is the same as U.S. credit bureau file formats. The reports are formatted identically no matter from which country the data originates.
Are we expected to share our customers' Personally Identifiable Information (PII) with Nova?
Nova doesn't store or track your applicant's PII. Unlike the usual process where your staff enter the borrower's information to request a credit report, the applicant will enter their information into Nova's platform to the bureaus from their country of origin and may need to answer questions about their history to confirm their identity (similar to the US-based free annual credit report sites). So the PII doesn't actually go to Nova, just the home country bureau.