Credit Score Diaries: Journey to an 850 Credit Score

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Shop Around, But Don’t Get Your Credit Pulled

Many consumers just fall into something without shopping around. For instance, if you call Ameriquest, a company that specializes in customers with less than perfect credit, they have a tactic to prevent you from shopping around—they pressure you to give your social security number and run your credit. Ameriquest has very aggressive brokers, and they will convince you that you must give them your social security number and your information saying they will not talk to you without pulling your credit report. The best thing to do is to find a lender who is considerate enough of your credit, your credit score, and your financial situation to just give you a good faith estimate of everything they can do for you. All the fees, everything right up front on a good faith estimate, with no credit score. If a lender is really considerate of you, that’s what they’re going to do.

The people I have done business with have not asked me for my social security number up front, they have told me what they could do for me. And that’s how you shop, you don’t want to shop by just giving your social security number to everyone, and having them all pull your credit report and lowering your score each time that is done. You want to be able to tell people “look, I will do business with you, if you can tell me what you can do for me.” And make them give you a good faith estimate. That’s a full estimate of everything, a complete break down of costs; the appraisal, the PMI, that’s if you’re putting less than 20% down. A lot of loans don’t even have PMI, but they sort make you prepay as an upfront cost. But do negotiate to see what they can do.

Remember that the best way to negotiate is to not negotiate at all, but to just know which lenders to use, the ones that are really looking to get your business, and are advertising. Find lenders with good programs in our "MUST HAVE AUDIO" for 2006.


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