When you try to get a personal loan or credit card, potential lenders usually pull a credit report from either Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion, which are the three main consumer credit agencies. The application process for a mortgage can be more extensive and typically includes a tri-merge credit report. This is a report that merges data from the three major credit bureaus into a single report, and it’s often used by the mortgage industry.
Why Do Mortgage Lenders Require a Specialized Report?
If you’re like most people, a mortgage is the largest loan you will ever have. Because of the size of this loan and the risk the lender is taking by loaning you thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, underwriters want to be sure they’ve taken a look at all your credit data.
Your credit scores and the information on the report provided by each of the credit bureaus may not be exactly the same. Some creditors may report to one or two credit agencies rather than reporting to all three. If a lender only obtains one credit report, it’s possible some important information may be missed.
The biggest reason many mortgage lenders may require a tri-merge credit report is to be sure no important data is overlooked when your credit is being evaluated. Seeing a combination of all the data on a tri-merge report lets them have a complete picture of how you’ve handled credit up to now and can help to clarify inconsistencies between the reports.
Your Credit Score and a Tri-Merge Report
Your credit score is another factor that potential lenders may use to decide whether or not to loan money to you. The score provided by the different bureaus can vary slightly, and potential lenders may look at just one score, or compare more than one score.
A tri-merge report doesn’t have its own unique credit score. When a mortgage lender pulls a tri-merge report, they’re obtaining the three individual FICO scores from the different credit bureaus. They will use the middle score. For example, if your scores are 700, 720, and 680 your “middle score” is 700. They use this information along with other factors to analyze whether they feel you’re creditworthy and whether you’ll be approved for a mortgage.
Staying on Top of Your Credit Report and Credit Score
Your credit report can make or break your chances of getting approved for a mortgage. It can also affect your ability to get the best possible interest rate. Being proactive about what’s on your credit reports including your credit score is the best way to avoid being surprised when you’re ready to apply for a mortgage and a tri-merge report is pulled.
A tri-merge report doesn’t have anything on it that isn’t in the individual reports from the credit bureaus. As a consumer, you’re entitled to a copy of your credit report each year from AnnualCreditReport.com. Dovly can help you understand what’s on your credit report. We make it easy to have any incorrect information removed and we provide educational resources, credit repair and credit monitoring services so you’ll always know when something changes on your credit report. Find out more about how Dovly can help you get ahead financially.