Controversial new kind of credit report

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- Most people realize their credit report will dictate whether they get a loan and what kind of interest rate they'll pay on that loan. But now, a new kind of credit report called Core Score contains information that digs deeper than ever into your payment history.

Rental applications and evictions, payday loans, auto title loans and rent-to-own transactions are all things that can be found in your payment history, according to attorney Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center.

This is all intended to give a lender a better idea of who is asking for money and the likelihood of it being paid back.

So where do they get the information?

"From the public records system," Wu said. "Traditionally, credit reports only hold three types of public records: bankruptcy, tax liens and judgments."

Not everyone is comfortable with all this extra sharing, but others who pay bills that weren't on traditional credit reports see it as a plus.

Core Logic acknowledges the extra information could hurt some people, while helping others. 

The company would not agree to go on camera, but in a written statement pointed out that "borrowers who would typically have insufficient credit history in traditional credit reports could now have new opportunities."

Credit expert John Ulzheimer agrees.

"The addition of this type of non-traditional information is going to help some people have a credit report who have never had a credit report before," Ulzheimer said.

But Wu sees it a little differently. 

She's concerned people who had legitimate reasons for not paying certain bills will now be penalized.

"If there are mice running around, if you don't have any hot water you're allowed to not pay your rent under some jurisdictions," Wu told 3 On Your Side. "Is the new credit report going to reflect that?"

And, what else could be added to these reports? That is another concern.

"With the push of a button you can aggregate billions of pieces of information about anything and turn it into a consumer report," she said.

Ulzheimer still believes the new reports will help both lenders and consumers.

"Now, consumers who deserve the credit are going to get it," he said. "Those who deserve it at competitive terms are going to get competitive terms, and those who, frankly, don't need to be saddled with that type of debt are going to be denied."

By the way, when it comes to your traditional credit report, 3 On Your Side suggests reviewing it for errors.

There is only one place to get your free credit report.  For that information, log on to www.annualcreditreport.com