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Fraud prevention tool to detect liar loans

Fraud prevention tool to detect liar loans

If you’ve ever stretched the truth on a loan application in order to look better for a bank, your chances of loan approval may be shrinking, thanks to a tool used to detect “liar loans” from a new startup.

Originally developed in the offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Protect tool uses analytics, image forensics, machine learning, optical character recognition and natural language processing to help determine whether supporting documents on loan applications are genuine or fraudulent.

As reported by the Australian Financial Review, three former PwC directors have left the company, taking Protect with them. Their new startup, Fortiro, can now supply Protect to more banks and financial services organisations without potential conflicts of interest from also being PwC audit clients.

Some of the banks and lenders using Protect include:

  • Athena
  • Bank Australia
  • Latitude
  • Plenti
  • Symple
  • Wisr

What does this mean for you? 

As new and improved fraud prevention technologies are developed and rolled out, it’s more important than ever to be accurate and honest when applying for a home loan or any other credit product.

Having a loan application declined can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that the eligibility criteria for a mortgage is there to help protect you and your finances, as well as the lender.

Even if you’re just fudging some numbers a little or omitting a detail or two around your income and expenses, you’re still putting your application, your credit score and your personal finances at risk.

So-called “liar loans” can potentially leave borrowers vulnerable to financial stress, as if you borrow too much money, you may struggle to manage the repayments if your circumstances change. Additionally, fraud is a serious crime in Australia.

There are tools available to help borrowers. For example, you can use RateCity’s How Much Can I Borrow calculator to set your expectations around the loan size you may be approved for given your income and expenses. You can also check your credit score for free to get a better idea of how a lender may view you and your application.

You can also work with a mortgage broker to estimate your home loan budget, and to make sure your mortgage application is accurate and well-optimised.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Alex Ritchie before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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