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As a Mortgage Lender, one of my most important services is that of credit advisor. Credit advice (in one form or another, whether it's polishing/improving credit, or repairing it) is needed by clients before, throughout, and even following many transactions.
A perfect example of this fact, was thenew client I met last Friday. They were hoping to Refinance their present mortgage to reap alower interest rate and shorter term. They'd not run a credit report for quite a while, so they had little idea what their current credit scores were.
The report I ran for them revealed some pretty major credit issues andcredit scores that were very poor. Late payments on medical bills were being reported. Inflicting even more severe damage though, was the laundry list of late utility/credit card bills, judgments, liens, parking tickets, and mind-blowing number of credit inquiries showing on the report. Only thing. None of the most damaging actions were my client's. Someone had created a bogus Social Security # that was showing on their report ...but they had also attached themselves to my client's social security number as well. They had reeked havoc on their credit standing. It had been happening for a substantial length of time.
Now this story is already bad enough, right? Having your credit, social security number, or identity stolen is a fate I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Straightening the mess out is going to be hard work ... andtake a significant amount of time. Their Refinancing? Currently out of the question.
But, the saddest part was ... this wasn't the first time this had happened to them. This couple had suffered through the very same thing about 6 or 7 years back. At that time, they had written letters to retailers and credit bureaus. Reported the problem to the authorities. They thought the problem was fully taken care of. Nope ...
To add insult to injury, the person utilizing and stealing their identity, using their social security card, and ruining their credit now? Itappears to be the very same person that had perpetrated the crimes upon them years ago.
What the heck?? This unfortunate incident provides a very strong, clear, and important lesson regardingthe importance of checking your credit scores and standing ... at minimum ...once every year.(Once per year if you've never had issues.) Running your credit more often is recommended, if you've suffered through something similar in the past, like my clients have.
You can't assume that your credit issues have been resolved just because you wrote letters or filed some reports. YOU must follow through ... make sure the problem is fully-corrected for each and every judgment, lien, or late payment showing on your credit report.
Then YOU must make sure full documentation of that fact is provided/available to you for your records. That way if the problem does crop up again, isn't fully rectified, or just comes back to haunt you like these clients of mine are experiencing, you're not starting over from ground zero.
Plus, you must remember: If any documentation needs to be recorded, YOU must make sure that task is accomplished. YOU must demand proof, see that the recording occurs, and/or request the vital information andrecorded document numbers needed for YOUR files.
Then you should continue to monitor your credit and credit standing consistently (it's recommended every 6 months in these instances) over an extended period of time. No one else will care as you do ... or as youshould ... to see that these steps are taken. Is your credit haunted? Make sure that it is not! First, run your credit report (or if in the Chicagoland area ...ask me to do it for you.) Then continue to monitor your credit standing and credit scores with the frequency recommended by mortgage lenders, the 3 major Credit Bureaus, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), theSocial Security Administration, and many more.
Experience has taught me that too many times these situations come back to "haunt"fraud victims, if these steps are not taken ...
* Looking to discover your Chicagoland home buying and mortgage refinancing options? Not sure of your current credit standing or credit scores? Unsure how to prepare for mortgage financing? Contact me today! I'll be happy to answer your questions and assist you with your mortgage financing needs. I can be easily found at any of the following:
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.