When it Comes to Your Credit Report, Be Yourself.

It’s important in life and in mortgage lending that you be yourself.  Accordingly, when your loan officer is presenting you and your loan application to an underwriter, you do everything you can to be as accurate and honestnametag as possible.  You take a detailed loan application and cough up unending amounts of documentation so, . . you’re good right?  Actually, there’s a 25% chance that’s not quite right.

One in four consumers found an error in a credit report issued by a major agency, according to a study by the Federal Trade Commission.  Five percent found errors that could lead to them paying more for mortgages.  I can tell you from personal experience that even if these errors don’t lead to paying mortgage for a mortgage, they can lead to hang ups and delays in loan processing and underwriting.  Any of these things are not things you want to learn about in the middle of your loan process.

So what to do?

  1. You should begin by downloading your credit report, from Annual Credit Report, which pulls from all three nationwide credit reporting companies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
  2. Look for any content that may be erroneous and prepare any supporting documentation that may be helpful in disputing the incorrect content.
  3. Initiate a dispute with the three major credit repositories:
    1. TransUnion Dispute
    2. Equifax Dispute
    3. Experian Dispute
  4. If this doesn’t remove or update the item in 30 and in some cases 45 days, file a complaint with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.  I’ve seen this in action and the CFPB is actually quite responsive to these complaints if someone has already tried the previous 3 steps without success.

There’s no reason to be nice or passive aggressive about getting this done so don’t feel badly about pursuing this aggressively.  Accuracy in your credit report has far reaching consequences that go well beyond the costs of and difficulty in obtaining financial services.  You deserve to be you; you’ve earned it!

Charles Dailey – Branch Manager, Loan Officer, Certified Military Housing Specialist – CA DOC, MN DOC & WI DFI

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