Do it yourself Credit Check
I. Did you
Federal law gives you the right to know
what's in your credit files.
Before you apply for mortgage loan, find out
whether anything in your record might present a problem.
Order a report 2-3 months before making a
loan application to give yourself plenty of times to iron out any wrinkles that
II. It's wise to check all 3 major credit bureaus
Equifax, Trans Union and Experian-for errors
Experian and Trans Union offer consumers in
the following states one free report a year; Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts,
New Jersey and Vermont.
Contact each credit bureau for further
1. Equifax: www.equifax.com
2. Trans Union: www.tuc.com
3. Experian: www.experian.com
III. You may order online and pay by
If you are ordering a free credit report or
paying by check or money order, you will need to write a letter including your
full name, date of birth, name of current and past spouses, your social
security number, and current and previous addresses going back 5 years .
Your date of birth and a copy of your
driver's license may also be required.
IV. Mailing letters or filling in forms online can be a
First American Credco Inc. (800-443-9342;
www.facredco.com) a Santa Ana, CA. credit reporting company, sells a merged
report that shows your combined credit history.
At $29.95 the merged report costs about the
same as getting separate reports directly from the big three.
V. If you discover an unfavorable
report, now is the time to rectify the error or seek settlement.
A lender may view the problem more leniently
if the record shows that the matter has been satisfactorily resolved.
VI. If you've been tagged unfairly for nonpayment or slow
write a well documented letter setting forth
your understanding of the facts, and file it with the appropriate credit bureaus.
If you aren't sure which bureaus have a file
on you, find out from the problem creditor.
VII. Better still, get the problem resolved
then request, in writing, that the creditor
inform all relevant reporting services that the problem has been fixed-with
copies to you.
This could take 30-90 days
Â VIII. Errors generated by the credit bureau
Such as mixed up files-need to be corrected there.
If using a complaint line or calling the
local office doesn't help,
write to the manager of consumer affairs.
The bureau should accept documentation
proving the account is not yours.
VIV. Report your problems
To the US Public Interest Research Group, 218
D St. SE, Washington, DC, 20003; 202-546-9707; www.pirg.org/uspirg/index.htm or
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
X.Â If the problem
you'll probably need to consider hiring a
lawyer to clear things up.
XI. When you finally make a loan application,
the lender will request a complete update on
your file, and you may be charged $100. or so for this credit check.
The lender will usually ask the credit agency
to revert Â our employer, salary, address
and other information.
Alert your employer's personnel office to the
credit checker's call.
If your credit application is turned down,
you're entitled to know why.
Knowing and Understanding Your Credit and Choosing the
Mortgage that is right for youÂ are free
step by step guides from:
Fannie Mae Foundation, (4000 Wisconsin Ave.,
NW, North Tower, Suite One, Washington, DC 20016-2804; 800-611-9566;
www.fanniemaefoundation.org): You may download Â and then online or receive them by mail via
phone, mail or online order.
Affording Your First Home contains a review
of fees first time buyers face, a worksheet for determining how much they can
afford to borrow, and an amortization table (HSH Associates, Financial
Publishers, 1200 Rt 23, Butler, NJ 07405; 800-873-2837;
www.hsh.com/catalog.html#3 primer; include $3 for postage and handling).
Mortgage Strategies for today's Homebuyers
discusses different mortgage types,
Selecting the right mortgage to meet your
timeframe and financial needs, biweekly and other pay off methods, worst case
ARM scenarios and more (also by HSH Assoc., above; include $3 for postage and
Hollywood Homes by MC MC Griffin
Campbell, Broker/Owner:Â License #:
and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) Certification
Real Estate Specialist Designation (SRES); MFT, M.Div.
323-927-1711Â Â Â