Credit Report How To’s & Why’s

Clearing up credit report confusion.

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The first reason to request a credit report is the obvious; looking for the golden egg. A new address, phone number or place of employment. I just need one of the three and I can get a little further down the road towards getting a repossession on the hook and ultimately a nice paycheck.

I don’t always pull credit when I get a new assignment. I assume that if I have a good phone number that I can use my wit to sweet talk a debtor. The point is that I fail in determining when I should give it up and pull the report. I am aware of credit monitoring services and that a debtor could have hopes of a better credit score and is ready to confront me if I pull their credit.

It could be the repo experience that makes me prefer to be incognito. If they see I pulled their credit then they may know I found their new address and my repo will no longer be sitting in their driveway. I use this rule about calling new phone numbers that appear with new addresses on a credit report.

Don’t call the new phone number until you’ve exhausted all efforts on a new address.

The past year I’ve witnessed a major shift in the way that small finance companies are using credit reporting which, to me, is new. Payday loan, title loan and smaller auto dealerships are accessing credit before they make a deal. I love seeing this because it means credit reporting agencies will be getting new information from the under-banked sector of the population.

The first how-to point that I want to make is that if you don’t have a signed credit application (I’m not referring to signed waivers), then don’t pull that credit report. Credit reporting agencies audit their subscribers and if you get approved to have access to their product, don’t abuse it. The first time you fail to provide supporting documents will be the last time you have access. Forever for the rest of your life you’ll never be able to get that account back.

Secondly, all credit reporting agencies are not created equal. Telephone companies, cell phone, utilities and cable providers tend to exclusively use Equifax. This is great for the skip who skips out as soon as you find them.

Experian has a lower volume requirement for credit reporting allowing smaller companies to report past due accounts that may not meet the volume criteria of Equifax or TransUnion. TransUnion is the most expensive with the highest standards of reporting making it the least likely to produce good skip trace data (or any other kind for matter).

Lastly, all three acquire marketing data. This greatly helps fill the gaps of information on a credit report where there’s no new or verified addresses, jobs or telephone numbers. Marketing data is that which is not obtained from a company to pull credit for the purpose of granting credit, collecting a debt or to decide if an account is worth the effort of collecting. I can only assume that the data is from a reliable source and verified to be that of the person whose credit report in which it lands.

In judgment enforcement I’m looking to see who else is giving a debtor credit, where are they applying for credit and what other companies are looking for them and pulling their credit too. All of these businesses can be subpoenaed for information on the debtor and their account regardless of the status.

This means credit applications, references, payment history, payment method, credit card numbers, copies of checks and other stipulated documents given to the company in order to determine credibility and grant credit. These are key elements of locating banks, jobs, real estate and vehicles. So if you’re not pulling credit, why?

 

Valerie McGilvrey
The Daily Skip
Follow me on Twitter @skipease

Did you know I’m going to be at the Allied Finance Adjusters Mid Year Conference?

 

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