Do I Need a Credit Report?

28 Jul Do I Need a Credit Report?

There are three national credit reporting agencies and they keep tabs on most, if not all, adults in this country and their credit history. They determine a credit score based on a magic formula to specify the credit worthiness of each of us.

Everybody should be roughly aware of their credit score because that score is used to determine the interest rate you will receive on a new vehicle, a new house, a credit card, etc.

Listening to the hype on television, however, that knowing your credit score will save you hundreds of dollars on a house loan, is simply inaccurate. You can’t get a house loan in this country without allowing the mortgage company to see your credit report. They also must make it available to you. Thus knowing it before you apply for the loan isn’t going to save you anything, because you’ll know it before the loan is issued anyway.

I suppose, if you were dealing with an unscrupulous mortgage broker who was fabricating your credit score so as to give you a higher interest rate, checking with the credit reporting agency would be a good idea. But then, if the lending company refuses to show you your credit report, don’t deal with them anyway.

If you’re contemplating filing bankruptcy, it’s a good idea to get a credit report, simply to make sure that you’re not leaving out any of your creditors.

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Douglas Jacobs is a California bankruptcy attorney and partner in the Chico law firm of Jacobs, Anderson, Potter & Chaplin. Since 1988, Mr. Jacobs has taught Constitutional law and Debtor-Creditor/Bankruptcy law at the Cal Northern School of Law. He has served as Dean of Students since 1994. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject of consumer bankruptcy law, and has spoken at both state and national levels.
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