ITIN’s – What You Need to Know

The IRS began issuing Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN’s) in 1996 for individuals who are not eligible for a social security number. Initially, they were issued solely for tax purposes. According to the IRS, “ITIN’s do not provide identity outside the Federal Tax System and should not be offered or accepted as identification for non-tax … Read more

Bankruptcy – Dismissal vs. Discharged

According to the Administrative Office of the US Courts, Bankruptcy filings increased by 16.8% in 2023, encompassing both business and individual filings. Bankruptcies are now the sole public records appearing on credit reports, as the credit bureaus (Experian, Trans Union, Equifax) stopped reporting liens and judgments a few years ago. A common question we receive … Read more

The Trouble with Credit Reporting Codes

In the world of credit reporting, there are a plethora of different codes that are used to convey multiple different messages, with each serving a specific purpose. It is helpful to know a little about what some of these codes are and what they accomplish. For example, when a data furnisher (creditor) signs a contract … Read more

The “Little” Things in Credit Reporting

We all start a new year with new goals, new dreams, and new hopes. For some people, those goals involve getting their credit in order so they might buy a new home, possibly their first home. Most people understand the basics of obtaining and keeping a good credit score – Paying bills on time, not … Read more

Bi-Merge vs. Tri-Merge Credit Report

In the fall of 2022, the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) unveiled the Enterprise Credit Score and Credit Reports Initiative. This dual-phase plan aims to shift from requiring three credit reports for borrowers to just two reports, termed a ‘bi-merge.’ Additionally, it intends to transition from current scoring models to FICO 10T and Vantage 4.0. … Read more

Trended Data: A Look into Credit History

In October 2022 the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) announced approval for the use of the FICO 10T (released in 2020) and Vantage 4.0 (released in 2017) scoring models. Once rolled out these scoring models will replace the older scoring models currently used by the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) for mortgages. The FHFA believes the … Read more

Enterprise Credit Score and Credit Reports Initiative Update

A lot of questions have been circulating through the industry around the proposed changes to Credit Score Models that were announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in October 2022. In March, Fannie Mae created a “Partner Playbook” that covers a lot of detail regarding the upcoming changes. The Playbook was just revised in … Read more

Medical Collections

On July 1, 2022, some positive changes took effect regarding medical collection practices. First, all paid medical collections started falling off credit reports, and second, collection agencies were required to wait one year before reporting a medical debt to the credit bureaus. This was to give the consumer a chance to pay the debt before … Read more