How Credit Report Errors Can Prevent
Your "Home Run."

By: , Hallmark Realty Corporation

Scenario: You apply for a mortgage; your mortgage lender receives a credit report full of errors; your opportunity to buy that dream house slips away. You do not have the time to wait for the errors to be removed.

In order to verify and understand the data contained in a mortgage loan applicant's credit report, the mortgage lender will pull a combined report from the three major U.S. credit agencies. This report is referred to in the industry as a "tri-merge" or "tri-agency" report. It is obtained whether the applicant is a U.S. citizen or not.

To the Lender, the tri-agency report presents the complete picture of a loan applicant's credit history and patterns of behavior. There are many reasons for errors to appear on the report; identity theft or mistaken identity being one of the most common, other reasons being the frequency of your moves, the number of employers, stores and utility companies you deal with. All increase the likelihood of errors appearing on your credit report.

To prevent credit report errors from derailing your plans, you should routinely obtain your credit report from one of the three major U.S. credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, Transunion. Check the reports carefully for errors such as incorrect addresses, erroneous employment records, and payment account information.

The standard time period it used to take to remove an error was 30 to 90 days. Today, thankfully, the most expedient way to remove errors in credit reports is online and with just one of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, or Experian, or Transunion. With your online credit report and confirmation number from each of the three agencies in hand, call the toll-free number to talk to the credit agency's customer service department. Explain to the credit agency representative that you are about to purchase a home, but an error in your report is preventing you from securing your mortgage. They will understand you have a deadline to meet.

The credit agency representative will ask for support of your claim and instruct you to fax the documentation to their attention with the credit agency's confirmation number on every page. Continue communication until the error is removed. This may take up to 48 hours. Remember to ask when your mortgage lender should pull another credit report on you.

With persistence and patience one of our clients was able to clear an error and obtain a clean report within two days. Now, they are happily living in their dream home in Kirkland, Washington!

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