When you’re applying for a credit card or loan, creditors will view your credit report before approving your application. Your credit report contains your detailed credit history and helps creditors gauge whether you will repay the money you borrow.
You don’t just have one credit report. You have several. Most lenders look at your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each bureau maintains a separate credit report and they generally do not share information with each other so your credit reports from each bureau may differ from each other. One credit report may contain information that the others don’t. Or specific details about your accounts may be different from one credit report to the next. Sometimes creditors and lenders only report to one or two of the credit bureaus rather than all three. Lenders need to have complete view of your credit history, with no missing pieces, to be able to approve your loan application.
What is a Tri-Merge Credit Report?
A tri-merge credit report contains your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus. In the mortgage lending industry, it’s known as a residential mortgage credit report. This single credit report merges your credit report data from all three credit reports into a single document so it’s more complete and comprehensive.
Tri-merge credit reports condense all the information for an account into a single line item. Duplicate information is removed and information regarding accounts are merged together to make the report easier to reach and understand.
When the mortgage lender reviews your credit report, they’re checking to be sure you don’t have any significant derogatory credit information, past due accounts any unpaid debt collections, high balances on your credit accounts, newly opened accounts, or too many recent credit inquiries. Having these items on your credit report can make it more difficult for you to get approved for a mortgage. You’ll have to take care of serious delinquencies before you can have your mortgage application approved.
While you can’t order a mortgage tri-merge credit report, you can order a three bureau credit report which shows you all three of your credit reports side by side. Your lender may be able provide you with a copy of your tri-merge credit report after they’ll pulled it.
Ordinarily, your credit report is updated when each of your creditors send updates to the credit bureaus. This happens about monthly. If you need your credit report updated to reflect your most recent information, you have to wait for the creditors to send an update. This timing is may be too long for the mortgage process. In that case, the lender can order a credit supplement to obtain the latest account information.
What Information is on a Tri-Merge Credit Report
Your tri-merge credit report shows you the information that each credit bureau has on file for you. Seeing the information side-by-side helps you easily spot differences in your credit report information. Here’s the type of information you’ll find on your tri-merge credit report – it’s the same as the information you’d find on a signle credit report.
Personal & Employment Information
Your credit report shows your name and any variations of your name that credit bureuas have on file for you. You may see combinations of your full name, first and last name, or your first name, last name, and your middle initial. Your credit report may even contain misspellings of your name.
Your date of birth and your current and previous addresses are listed.
Personal information doesn’t affect your credit score, but is used to verify your identity when creditors review your credit report.
A list of your credit and loan accounts are included on your credit report. This makes up the bulk of the information in your tri-merge credit report.
Each of your accounts includes the name of the creditor, the current balance, credit limit or original loan amount, status of the account, and complete payment payment history. Your credit report also shows the type of account ownership, i.e. whether you’re the sole borrower, a co-borrower, joint accountholder, or authorized user on the account.
If you have any accounts with a third-party collection agency, those will appear along with the amount you owe and the name of the original creditor. Debts are sent to a collection agency when you fail to pay the original creditor. This can happen with any type of account, not just credit or loan accounts.
Certain debts are on record with your local, state, or the federal government. This includes foreclosure, repossession, lawsuit judgments, tax liens, and bankruptcy. These accounts appear in the public records section of your credit report.
Businesses review your credit report whenever you put in a credit-based application or when they want to prescreen you for a product or service. Your version of your tri-merge credit report will include a list of all the requests made for your credit history. The lender’s version of your tri-merge credit report will only show the inquiries that resulted from your own applications for credit.
You might notice that the inquiries vary between your credit reports. This is because some businesses only request one of your credit reports, while others may request all three. For example, if a credit card issuer pulled your TransUnion credit report there would not be a record of that inquiry on your Experian credit report.
Major Negative Information on Each Credit Report
Lenders will be able to easily see a list of major negative factors affecting your credit scores with each credit bureau. For example, seroius delinquencies, recent delinquencies, number of newe accounts, high balances, and too many recent inquiries are a few of the types of negative information that can affect your credit score and make it harder for you to get a loan.
Errors on Your Tri-Merge Credit Report
You have the right to an accurate credit report. If you spot errors on your tri-merge credit report, you can dispute the error with the specific credit bureau that’s reporting the error. The credit bureau will do an investigation with the information furnisher and update your credit report based on the results of the investigation.
Work on errors in advance of making major credit card or loan application, not only to improve your chances of being approved, but also to ensure you qualify for the best terms possible. Otherwise, if you don’t dispute negative errors, they will stay on your credit report for seven years. Bankruptcy is an exception; it stays on your credit report for 10 years.
Cost of a Tri-Merge Credit Report
You should order a three-in-one credit report at least once each year so you can verify the information on your credit reports with all three credit bureaus. You want to confirm that all the information is accurate and complete and that there aren’t any fraudulent accounts or signs of identity theft.
You never know which credit reports lenders will view (and some will view all three credit reports), so you should make sure your complete credit history is in the best shape possible before making any major credit applications.
You can order a separate credit report from each credit bureau. Or you can order special three-in-one credit report that contains each of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. Three-in-one credit reports naturally cost more than just a single credit report, but give you a complete view of your credit history. The cost of a three-in-one credit report starts at $39.99 depending on the provider.
You can order a three-in-one credit report from any of the major credit bureaus and through myFICO.com. You may also purchase your credit scores for an additional cost. There’s no much thing as a tri-merge credit score. Instead, you’ll receive three credit scores, one based on each of your credit reports.
Each consumer has the right to a free credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus. You can order all three of these at once and, while it won’t be a tri-merge credit report showing each credit report side-by-side, you can still view all your credit reports at once. You can order all three of your free annual credit reports through AnnualCreditReport.com.
When you order your credit report, you’ll be asked a few verification questions so the credit bureau can confirm your identity. The verification questions will pertain to information on your credit report that only you would know. For example, you may be asked to confirm your address, name your mortgage lender, or verify your monthly auto loan payment. You may not be able to order your tri-merge credit report online if you answer the verification questions incorrectly.
When you’re ordering your credit reports, beware of sites that enroll you in a subscription service that charges you monthly or annually for continued access to your credit report. Make sure read any fine print when you’re ordering your tri-merge credit report so you make a one-time purchase not a recurring subscription.