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The Best Little Money Book

Tip of the Month

Special Consumer Reports You Need to Know About

Our last tip discussed consumer reports that bankers and lenders use when you open a bank account and apply for loans for cars and homes. Now we are going to look at two specialty reports used for medical purposes and apartment rentals. Employment specialty reports will be reviewed next month.

The reports that are free each year are underlined. The other reports are free only if an adverse action has been taken against you based on the information in the report.

Adverse action applies when you are denied for an apartment rental. It also applies when a co-signer is required, the rental company is requiring a deposit that others are not required to pay, a larger deposit is required or the rent amount is higher. In any of these cases FCRA/FACTA requires a notice of adverse action is sent to the applicant.

The notice includes the credit reporting agency that supplied the consumer report and how to contact them and a statement that they did not make the adverse actions decision. The notice will also include information on how to dispute and the right to a free report within 60 days.

Rental specialty reports contain your renting history. The report may contain performance history like damages, unauthorized pets and lease violations.

CorelLogic SafeRent provides data about evictions, address history, court judgments and criminal activities. This information is used to help rental properties decide if they will rent you a unit. To request a form go to the Resident Screening section.

Tenant Data Services provides applicant screening to rental companies and collects rental history of damages, unauthorized pets and lease violations.

If you want to pay your rent online, use these websites: Clearnow and PayYourRent. They both report to the major credit reporting agencies.

Medical specialty reports. Early in 2015 the three major credit reporting agencies decided not to include medical debt in consumer files for six months after they receive the information so that insurance payments have time to be processed. This reduces the negative impact on a consumers credit score. The credit reporting agencies will remove the delinquent information when the debt is paid.

Medical Information Bureau collects information about medical conditions and medical data that is used to determine risk when underwriting life, health and long-term care insurance policies. The data tell the insurance companies about errors and omissions made by the applicant looking for an insurance policy.

Milliman IntelliScript collects date about your prescription drug purchases. This helps insurance companies with their risk management decisions.