XML Credit Report Standards

XML credit report standards enable credit bureau information to be better utilized within business and financial transactions, and more easily passed from one computer program to another within a secure environment and with permissible purposes.



MERit Credit Systems announces support of VantageScore SM in its MERit Credit Engine (MCE). VantageScore was jointly developed by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.


Credit Report XML Standards Supported by Credit Engine.  The HR-XML and MISMO XML credit report format helps developers avoid being locked-in to proprietary formats of specific vendors, web services and credit bureaus.

Fraud prevention through Experian identity verification is supported by the MERit Credit Engine, helping to automate new account processing.


Merged XML credit reports can be generated according to the mortgage XML standard using the MERit Credit Engine's software API.  HR-XML credit reports are also supported.


ActiveX Toolkit adds credit report, credit score, and XML functionality for software developers using any programming language.


XML Background Check specifications for employment screening are part of the HR-XML open standard. The MERit Credit Engine provides XML credit report retrieval for human resource and background screening applications.


XML Credit Reports Provide Interface to Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.  Merit Credit Engine simplifies programming for applications that need Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian data.


ActiveX component for credit report retrieval simplifies custom software and financial application development, enabling access to Experian, Trans Union and Equifax.


Property management companies get credit bureau interface. The Merit Credit Engine software provides credit report retrieval for tenant screening as part of LandLord Guard's services to residential rental property management.

Middleware for Credit Reports uses IBM DB2 Database. Developers and integrators can access credit reports with SQL or XML via the IBM DB2 database.  Credit report solutions for Microsoft SQL Server are also available.


Insurance Underwriters Use Credit Report Retrieval. The MERit Credit Engine provides credit report retrieval for Unitrin Direct Automobile Insurance Company, and helps them integrate credit reports into the insurance quote process.


Software SDK Retrieves and Parses TransUnion Canada Credit Reports. The MERit Credit Engine provides credit report access over the Internet for use in custom software applications.


Experian Net Connect Certification of MERit's credit retrieval software tools helps software developers quickly create an XML credit bureau interface in their applications.


Batch credit scoring for loan portfolios can benefit from the MERit Credit Engine's ability to provide in-house database retrieval of credit data in bureau-neutral, as well as bureau-specific formats.


Equifax Canada credit reports are available without transaction fees using the MERit Credit Engine.  It allows companies needing integration of credit reports into custom credit scoring systems to do so with standard XML and SQL.


Credit score system uses ScoreX integrated decision support. The MERit Credit Engine provides options to retrieve credit reports for use as part of the Scorex process.


HR-XML standardizes the credit report specification for employment applications. Software converts output from all three credit bureaus to the standard XML format used in human resources.


XML Merged Credit Report software provides system developers tools needed to integrate real-time Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion credit data into custom applications.


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XML Programming Tools

XML credit report data can be handled manually, but it is important to note that programming tools are available to 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 navigating XML data.  Visual BASIC, Visual C++ and other programming tools are beginning to simplify all of this for standalone, as well as web-based applications.  IBM DB2 XML credit report database management solutions are available, as are solutions for Microsoft SQL Server.


The first requirement is to employ software for high-speed communication with the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Trans Union) and to have that software parse the data for storage in your local SQL Server or IBM DB2 database.  This can operate as a background service. Industry and company-specific needs can then be met by direct access to database tables, access to fully rendered credit reports, or access to standards-based XML. 

Mortgage XML Standard

The most comprehensive credit report XML specification is MISMO, provided by the Mortgage Banker's Association of America's  Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization. The overall specification covers loan origination, real estate services, secondary marketing, and servicing. Credit report software performs the specialized task of providing data in the correct format for the parts of the MISMO standard which are related to credit reports, whether single, two-bureau, or tri-merged.


XML credit report standards now make it possible, in the home lending field, for identical data files to to be submitted to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for an underwriting decision.

Human Resources XML Standard

The HR-XML Consortium has developed XML standards for employment screening. A person's background check, based on Experian Employment Insight, TransUnion PEER, and Equifax Persona employment credit reports can now be stored using a standard XML schema. Credit software is needed to handle the work of getting the data, populating the XML, and of resolving compatibility issues in the way the credit bureaus provide the data.

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 not a simple one. It is best to let proven credit software handle the issues of proper layout, standardized tag and attribute names, and standardized data representation. In the process, hundreds of lookup tables are utilized to ensure that the data and the wording of each description conforms to the specifications.


Bureau Data

Converting Credit Bureau Data to XML

  • Normalize bureau data to standardized database tables.

  • (Optionally) merge the data.

  • Convert to standard descriptions and wording according to the Document Type Definition (DTD) or XML schema.

  • Create XML output.

XML Data

XML Customization

XML has the advantage of being extensible. The MISMO and HR-XML specifications allow custom tags to be added without breaking the original code. For example, easier development and more efficient processing can be achieved by allowing the credit retrieval engine to automatically generate and include custom tags for summary data, along with the credit report detail.


Being open, as well as comprehensive, the MISMO and HR-XML specifications for credit reports are useful outside their originally intended applications and targeted industries. Where necessary, tools are available for transforming the XML data to other specifications. 

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 data on a node-by-node basis.


Within the XML data that might exist for a liability item on a credit report, tags such as Account Identifier (the account number), open date, status date, creditor name, high credit amount, and others can be seen.  A custom decisioning 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.