When you apply for a loan to buy a house, the mortgage lender, in order to protect their interests, will check your credit to determine how likely you are to pay back the loan. The credit check the lender does is different from the credit check that’s done if you are buying a car or applying for a student loan or other personal loan. Mortgage lenders rely on a special type of credit report called a tri-merge credit report.
What Is a Tri-Merge Credit Report?
The tri-merge credit report exists expressly for the mortgage industry. It combines your credit reports from the three major consumer credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This report is also called a three-bureau credit report or a residential mortgage credit report. It allows the mortgage lender to get an overall view of your credit history instead of the more narrow view you get from one credit reporting agency.
It’s important to note that the tri-merge credit report is not a merged credit score. Your tri-merge report will include FICO® scores from each of the credit reporting agencies. Your FICO® score is a number between 300 and 850 that determines your ability to repay your debts. The lender will use the middle score. If you are applying jointly with someone else, they will use the lower middle score.
Why Do Lenders Use a Tri-Merge Credit Report?
Since a mortgage loan deals with such a large amount of money, mortgage lenders are interested in all of your credit data to be able to determine your creditworthiness as accurately as possible. The tri-merge report also insures that the loan complies with the laws and regulations that govern mortgages and gives lenders a complete picture of how you have used credit in the past.
How to Get a Free Consumer Credit Report
Since tri-merge credit reports are done specifically for mortgage lenders, it may be hard for you to get your hands on yours. However, if you have applied for a mortgage, you can request your tri-merge report from the loan officer. You can get an idea of what’s in your tri-merge credit report by looking at your FICO® scores from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These scores make up your consumer credit reports.
Your consumer credit reports can be obtained for free. You can go to AnnualCreditReport.com to access one report from each of the three credit reporting agencies once a year.
What Is a Good Credit Score?
In addition to the FICO® score, there is also the VantageScore. The numbers are slightly different for each.
On a VantageScore, anything between 661 and 780 is considered a good credit score. Anything between 781 and 850 is considered excellent.
On a FICO® score, anything between 740 and 749 is considered a good score. Any number between 800 and 850 is considered excellent.
There’s a lot of moving parts involved when looking to purchase a new house. That’s why we are here; having a real estate expert on your side to help you through the process can make a big difference! Give me a call and I’d be happy to help in your next real estate endeavor!
Looking for real estate services in Gainesville, Haymarket or Bristow? Contact your local real estate expert Belinda Jacobson-Loehle of Jacobson Realty and Home Staging In Gainesville, Virginia today. Also be sure to sign up now for a FREE copy of my eBook, “The Real Estate Key – What You Need to Know!”
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