If you are considering a home purchase, it is in your best interest to make every effort to increase your credit score, especially if you know you have issues you should be dealing with. It is often the case that people are not aware of bad marks on their credit record until they apply for financing for a major purchase, such as a home.
As part of the loan process, we run a credit report for you. But you can take advantage of the opportunity to get a free credit report from each of the three main CRAs: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. As a sidebar, you can choose to get the free report from all three bureaus at the same time, so you are aware of what information each bureau has collected. Another option is to pull your credit report from one agency, and reserve the right to get your free reports from the other two CRAs as you work on improving your credit standing.
We believe it is best to have the full overview up front. Different CRAs have different methods of calculating these scores, and may also have different information contained within their findings. Consider the adage, “Why jump over nickels to pick up pennies?” If additional reports are needed within a 12−month period from any of the three CRAs, the cost is extremely minimal compared to the potential savings that can be realized by an improved credit score, and if you run a credit report on yourself it will not affect your own score as an inquiry.
The underwriter who is making the decision as to whether or not you should get the loan you are asking for will generally look at the scores generated from all three CRAs. Typically, the score will not be the same from all three reports, and the underwriter will consider the middle score as a barometer.