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Current Tip

Checking Your Credit Report & Reporting Errors

Regardless of the type of loan you want, your lender will likely start processing your application by pulling a consumer credit report. What is that? It's a history of credit you have been granted, how well you have paid previous loans back, and how "at risk" you are as a borrower. The score given with your report is often directly tied to the loan rate you are offered, so it is an important component of your loan and greatly impacts the price you pay (see this example). More importantly, it impacts your financial future in several areas.

As a borrower, what if you had the opportunity to see your credit score or history first? You do, with a few of these services that are available at little or no cost:

Credit reports are also not perfect, so checking yours gives you an opportunity to review and dispute items that may not be correct, especially if they are resulting in a lower credit score or adverse credit history for you. Creditors are required to investigate and respond to certain errors, so be sure you know your rights as a creditor and avoid these common errors. Also, keep in mind that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is available if you have problems getting resolution.

This month, we explore the topic of Preparing for a Loan, so here are some additional resources to consider.

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Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (or MCUCD) is the award-winning, charitable arm of the Montana Credit Union Network. A state-wide nonprofit organization, MCUCD works together with the state's credit unions to improve the lives and financial independence of all Montanans.