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Why aren't you more involved with YOUR credit scores?

It's no secret that your credit score plays a major role in being approved or denied for a loan.  Over the past 2 weeks, I have spoken with about 6 customers that are looking to purchase or refinance due to the great mortgage rates.  In most of the cases, the customer has no clue what their credit scores are.  I tend to ask a LOT of questions to get an idea of someone's score without pulling the credit.  If you have no clue and have not purchased anything in quite some time, it makes it harder for someone like me to guestimate your scores and provide an accurate Good Faith Estimate.

Don't get me wrong, I understand when someone does not know the exact score.  I am referring to anyone who has never looked or taken an interest until the day they decide to refinance or purchase a home.  Not just a home, but any major purchase where financing may be needed.  Back in October, I wrote a few posts about Credit Scores, what to look for, and how to improve them. Within those posts, I talked about what to look for and how to address issues, but I never really talked about who you could contact for a free credit report.  Below should help with your research.

Ultimately, if you are thinking about making a large purchase, you may need to be eligible for a loan.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) was amended to require each credit reporting agency (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to provide a credit report to you each year, at your request, completely free of charge.

How do you get the free credit report?  The three credit reporting agencies have set up one central website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free annual report.

One the web:

Telephone:  877-322-8228

Mail in the Annual Credit Report Request Form to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service

P.O. Box 105281

Atlanta, GA  30348-5281

Once you receive your report, call a local Credit Counselor to review it with you and offer assistance.  You may also be able to have a local Loan Officer review the report with you and offer suggestions.  Please note that Loan Officers review credit reports in detail and can offer suggestions, but they are not the experts.  For serious delinquencies, contact a Credit Counselor because they are familiar with credit laws & guidelines.  Somethings can be removed where as others need specific attention.

I hope that you have found this information useful.  Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns and I'll be happy to assist and/or direct you to a Professional Credit Counselor.



Are you looking to purchase a Texas home?  Perhaps you love your Texas home but would be interested in refinancing your Texas mortgage to a lower interest rate?  

I'll help you get pre-approved for your Texas home loan and even suggest some very knowledgeable and professional Real Estate Agents in your area of choice.  If you are available to talk, I am available to listen.  Give me a call or visit my website for more details.

Do you want to know all of your mortgage options? Call me today and let's discuss them further.

Texas Home Loan Consultant

Always available for your Texas Mortgage and Home Loan needs!

John R Cannata    P#214.728.0449

NMLS # 322646

Texas Home Loan Expert

Frisco TX Mortgage



The views expressed on this site are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer.

Comment balloon 11 commentsJohn Cannata • January 21 2009 02:30AM


Being that it is January, I think it is a great time for anyone that hasn't pulled their credit in the last year, to get it done.  I was wondering about all the offers for free credit reports and so after reading your post, I looked up the info on it, and the link to that you posted is the ONLY official place to get your free report.  According to the FTC: is the ONLY authorized online source for you to get a free credit report under federal law. You can get a free report from each of the three national credit reporting companies every 12 months. Some other sites claim to offer "free" credit reports, but may charge you for another product if you accept a "free" report.

Makes me worry that people are signing up for bogus offers or worse, freely handing over their most personal financial information to scammers!

Posted by Jacquie Cliff, - Real Estate and Short Sale Expert (Champions Real Estate Services - Lynnwood, WA) over 10 years ago

Jacquie - I am not sure I was aware it was the ONLY free report out there so that you for sharing that bit of information.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 over 10 years ago

Credit scores are so important, and most people pay no attention to them. It's always sound advice for everyone to take notice of theirs.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago

JL - It would be one thing if someone had to pay to see them... then maybe you don't want to pay the money... but this is completely free.  Erik H. suggested that you pull the credit report every 4 months.  Each time you pull it, just request it from the different credit agency.  All 3 will be free for the year and you can see the progress.  Even though the 3 reports are different, it can still be helpful and can avoid fraudulent activity.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 over 10 years ago

Great post John!  I pulled my report a couple of weeks ago and found a couple of errors about my MTG payment history.  I had documentation proving them wrong and so I will be increasing my score just like that!


Posted by Brian & Marie Spray, Frisco TX Realtors ( - Action Realty Group) over 10 years ago

Hi John, This reminds me of that commercial "free credit" with those guys singing and riding bikes or wearing pirate costumes in a fast food fish joint - very catchy commercial. I just went to the site and there is a little disclaimer that after you print the free report if you don't cancel some kind of trial subscription in 7 days they'll bill you $14.95 a month - so I guess it can be free elsewhere just read the fine print.

Good post though and reminder - we do this at least once a year.

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 10 years ago

Hi John, this surprises me too and what surprises me more is people don't understand a lot of simple actions can help with credit scores, such as don't close credit card accounts with no balances.

Posted by Linda Breeding (Keller Williams Realty ) over 10 years ago

Brian - Thats a great reason right there to know what is going on with your report.  Not only for errors, but for fraud.  It costs nothing to find out.  Take a few minutes and check up on it.  Thanks for the comment.

Karen - I was not aware of the fine print that signed you up the the monthly reporting or audit.  I appreciate you letting us know.  I'll update the post to reflect this information so that people area aware.

Linda - You are absolutely right.  People are not aware.  I was going to do a post today about that as a matter of fact.  Just some helpful tips on improving your scores overall.  I talk to at least one person a week that has great payment history, never late, and is never at the limit.  Problem was that the balances were still too close to the limit which brought the score down.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 over 10 years ago

Hi John - the little disclaimer is on the "free credit" website I didn't go the one you have linked here but I will to see if there's one there.

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 10 years ago

There was nothing they appeared to be selling on the site you linked in your blog John. I just checked.

Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) over 10 years ago

Thank you Karen for checking.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 over 10 years ago