Underwriting News : The Importance of Credit

Written By: Stacey Sprain

There is no question about it- fico scores and credit requirements have moved to the forefront of lending guidelines. And unfortunately, time and time again I’ve learned how little consumers really know and understand about credit. I personally think our government and our educators do a pretty crappy job of teaching consumers what is really important to know about their credit history and about credit reporting in general. But there are so many great tools out there that we have opportunity to share with our families, our friends, our neighbors and our communities. Today’s article will teach you how to find and utilize the tools I’ve made use of over the years.

First off, I want every single one of you to do the following: Go towww.annualcreditreport.com and request your free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. There is no charge for this service and in fact, it is your legal right. A federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) provides that every consumer is entitled to request and receive a copy of his/her free credit report at least once annually from each of the three major credit reporting companies. If you’ve never heard of this, refer to the Federal Trade Commission’s bulletin called Your Access
to Free Credit Reports which explains in further detail.

When you play the role of consumer, it gives you an advantage out in the market because you’re able to take what you learn and use it to help educate others. This is what I did many years ago when I accidentally stumbled upon a lot of important credit information at the FTC website. I’ve used the information to help many borrowers monitor and repair their outdated, duplicated and erroneous credit reports at absolutely no cost to them. I’ve even used this process to keep my own credit report up-to-date and free of the errors that can cause fico score depletion.

Beware of other credit companies that advertise and try to sell you “free” credit reports. The ONLY federally approved website appointed to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act iswww.annualcreditreport.com. Upon requesting and receiving your report from each of the three major bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, you will want to review the data for accuracy and make notes of those tradelines that are not reflecting correct and current data. If you find that any of the data is duplicated, inaccurate, not rated current, or that doesn’t even belong to you, you have the ability to dispute those tradelines and to request an investigation. These procedures are clearly outlined in the FTC bulletin called How to Dispute Credit Report Errors. The bureaus have 30 days in which to complete their investigation and you will be notified of their findings when the investigation is complete.

Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE: http://www.FHA-Classes.org

The entire process is simple, secure and most importantly, it is absolutely FREE to you as the consumer! Ignore all of those other credit companies that offer you their services with fees and charges. They are NOT offering you anything that you cannot accomplish yourself without cost! Anyone can handle these processes and will be much wiser as a result. In addition, corrections to the reported data may render improved higher fico scores in many cases.

The FTC also provides other bulletins that provide additional pointers and information such as the booklet Building a Better Credit Report,Getting Credit: What you Need to Know About Credit, Credit and Divorce, and Need Credit or Insurance? Your Credit Score Determines What You’ll Pay. I have used these resources many times over the years to assist family members, friends and borrowers learn more about their credit reports and repair their erroneous credit.

The FTC also offers opportunity for you to request large quantities of the consumer booklets, bulletins and brochures through their bulk orders website and many allow you up to 100 quantity at no charge! These are wonderful marketing materials and can be used to distribute at seminars and conferences.

Take this opportunity to read up and educate yourself on credit and be sure to pass the information on to others who may benefit as well!

Need FHA Training? CLICK HERE: http://www.FHA-Classes.org

About The Author

Stacey Sprain - As an NAMP® staff writer, Ms. Stacey Sprain is currently a NAMP® member in good standing, and is a NAMP® Certified Ambassador Loan Processor (NAMP®-CALP). With over 15+ years of mortgage banking experience, Stacey is also a Quality Control Manager for a major mortgage lending institution. If you would like to become a volunteer writer for us, please email us at: contact@mortgageprocessor.org.

Opinion-Editorial (Op-Ed) Disclaimer For NAMP® Library Articles: The views and opinions expressed in the NAMP® Library articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official NAMP® policy or position. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world application as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of NAMP®. Nothing contained in this article should be considered legal advice.