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Know Your Credit – Now

Know Your Credit – Now

Before You Buy

Before you even start to buy a home you will need to know your credit and what may be on there.  There are ways to know your credit without having to contact a lender or rely on sites like Credit Karma.

Credit Repositories

Before we jump too far into getting your credit you must be aware that there are actually three main credit repositories who determine your creditworthiness.  They are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

You can learn more about credit by reading my previous article on Understanding Credit and another one on Credit Improvement.

Tri-Merge Reports

When a lender looks at your credit they will first look at all three scores from each of the three repositories.  Each repository has its own algorithm on determining creditworthiness.

When you have an account with a credit card company or an installment loan, these are known as a creditor.

Each creditor may report to one, two, or all three repositories.  There is no law stating that they have to report at all or to all three.  When they do report they have to, by law, provide accurate information.  This is why all three scores are important.  A creditor may report to TransUnion but may not report to Equifax, and vice versa.

When a mortgage lender pulls your credit they will want a tri-merge report which means that they will see what each repository is reporting and they will see the resulting score.

This set of scores are known as your FICO (Fair Issac Corporation) score.

When looking at the three numerical values the lender will always use the one that comes in the middle.  This means if your Experian score was 720, your Equifax score was 685, and TransUnion was 705, the score that she would use is the TransUnion score of 705.  They will toss out the high one and the low one.

This is why only knowing one is not too helpful.  You will not know if it is the high one, the low one, or the middle one.

 

Get Your Free Report

You are entitled to know what is on your credit and you can get this for free, well once a year that is.

Because of the recent computer hacks and other cyber-crimes people’s credit is at an all-time high for being at risk.  Thus, knowing your credit is very important.

In September 2017, Equifax was hacked exposing personal information to 143 million people.

It is also known that about 1 in 5 people will have errors on their report.  This can mean that you may have one or more negative items on your report without you even knowing it is there.  And identity theft is also at an all-time high.

The site that use to be the go-all for your credit is now reserved strictly to Experian, thus only one of the repositories.  That site is www.freecreditreport.com.  You can also get your report and scores from Equifax and TransUnion separately.

The one place you can get your credit report is through www.annualcreditreport.com or you can call 1-877-322-8228.  This is the only site that you can get your free report as per the FTC.  You will obtain all three reports from this site, for free.

Disputes

If you find errors on your report you can begin the dispute process by disputing any errors to each of the repositories that are seen by going to the repository websites for each TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

Conclusion

Everyone is entitled to know what is on their credit.  You can check yours for free once a year on your own.  It is the best way to know what is going on before you try to buy something big or anything else that involves your credit.

Credit is used everywhere in America today.  It is needed for renting a home, buying a home, and possibly even to get hired for a job.  Knowing where you stand is critical in planning out your future.

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Kevin A Dunlap

Kevin Dunlap is an author, podcaster, speaker and a licensed Nevada REALTOR® since September 2012. He has been involved in real estate since buying his first investment property in February 2002. He has also owned two small apartment complexes. He has specialties in creative real estate deals such as lease options and seller financing, as well as the normal purchase or sale of homes, condos, and townhouses. Kevin also has a team to help people who are employed in the Cannabis industry to buy homes, too.

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