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What’s the Difference Between a Consumer Credit Report and a Lender Credit Report?

These days consumers can check their credit scores through any number of consumer credit reporting services.  The credit scores these reports provide are referred to as “informational” or “educational” credit scores because they give information about a consumer’s general credit worthiness. Every consumer credit reporting service uses a slightly different formula and point scale to calculate a consumer credit score and the only thing they have in common is they typically pull information from only one credit bureau.

Mortgage lenders use a more comprehensive credit report known as a “Residential Mortgage Credit Report.” This report is also referred to as a “tri” or “triple-merge” report because it combines information from three different credit bureaus into one report giving lenders a more complete credit profile than what a consumer sees by checking only one bureau. Additionally, these reports often contain details consumers won’t find, like details about employment history and current income.

Consumers are sometimes surprised by what turns up in a tri-merge credit report because they occasionally surface details that may not be shown in a consumer credit report if, for example, a merchant or creditor report credit information to only one credit bureau.  And because of the comprehensive nature of residential mortgage credit reports, credit scores issued by these reports are almost always lower than credit scores issued by consumer credit reporting services.

I hope that answered any questions you may have about the difference between the two reports, and I encourage you to contact me directly if you have questions about your credit and how it may affect your homebuying journey.