Don’t Trust Credit Reporting Agencies
When you apply for a mortgage loan, or any credit, the lender relies on information that is supplied by lenders, landlords, government agencies, courts, and credit card companies to three credit reporting bureau, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Numerical values are assigned to defaults and late payments, income-to-debt ratios, types of credit and other data. The values are compiled into credit scores which provide a snapshot of your credit worthiness to anyone authorized to make inquiries.
According to a 2021 investigation by ConsumerReports.org, more than one-third of 6,000 surveyed consumers found at least one mistake in their credit reports and nearly as many found incorrect personal information such as names and addresses while 11 percent found account information errors. These errors can cause your credit scores to fall, making you pay more in interest for loans and credit lines, or in the worst cases, being denied credit altogether.
What can you do? Get a three-bureau report and check for errors. One bureau may have accurate data while another can have incorrect or outdated information that can lower your credit scores. Sometimes, the incorrect data comes from the data furnisher – the lender, landlord, lien holder, etc. You’ll have to contact the data furnisher with proof of payment or release of lien or other evidence. Obtain a written statement of resolution to give to the credit bureau and to your mortgage lender via certified mail to make sure they get it.
Keep checking your credit at least once a year.