When homebuyers decide to take a loan, it’s pretty basic that lenders would check their credit score first. In fact, it is advisable that we monitor our credit scores to check if our credit risk is still manageable. Credit worthiness determines our chance of getting a loan approval, the interest rates to be given and the amount of loan. Credit reporting has become big business for companies such as Experian, Equifax and TransUnion that provide free credit report to anyone every 12 months.
Many companies have also taken advantage of this industry through bait and switch advertising that have victimized millions of Americans. Type “credit report” on your search engine and you’ll definitely be presented with hundreds of “free credit report” websites that are obviously too good to be true. Those who snap at their offers are often shocked that while they may have gotten a free credit report that same day, they were automatically signed up for a monthly credit report subscription by the website. Shrewd, huh?
But all these issues are now regulated by the Federal Trade Commission in the hopes of making free credit reporting more accessible to the public. Free credit reporting websites are now required to advertise products and services on AnnualCreditReport.com (the only authorized source of free reports by the government) until after consumers have received their free credit reports.
Experian’s Freecreditreport.com used to provide free reports but because of this new rule, it has this to announce in its homepage, “Due to federally imposed restrictions, it is no longer feasible for us to provide you with a free Experian credit report. So for now, we’ll be charging you $1 for your Report. But instead of keeping your $1, we’ll donate 100% of the proceeds to Donorschoose.org, an online charity providing funds to classrooms in need.” It’s a good thing they’ve thought about this plan or else, every person seeking a credit report might just lambast Experian again.
Here’s an important reminder from Gail Cunningham, spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, when interviewed by USA Today , “If you’re planning to apply for a mortgage or car loan, you should order all three credit reports. That way, you can check your reports for errors that could prevent you from getting a loan. Not all lenders report to all three bureaus, so it’s important to scrutinize all three reports, Cunningham says. If you find an error that could hurt your score, you can file a dispute with the credit bureau.”
Andy Denton is the COO of www.Realty.com. Realty.com is a real estate search portal, dedicated to connecting home buyers and sellers to trusting real estate services. Follow the Realty.com blog for up to date housing news and trends. And monitor local mortgage rates at RealtyGadget.com.
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