Credit and homeownership counseling resources
Encourage homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers and homebuyers with no credit history or a marginal credit standing, to attend credit-counseling classes. Buyers who are educated about the basics of consumer credit and mortgage loans are less likely to be tricked by unscrupulous lenders. They will be more likely to shop around for the lender and the mortgage that best meets their needs. Find Wisconsin counseling services below:
Financial Literacy Information for Consumers
Credit reports and credit score resources
Buyers should be encouraged to find out their credit score and obtain a copy of their credit report from a national credit reporting agency. Credit scores are based on an individual's credit report information and are used to predict whether consumers will make their payments on time.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) was signed into law in December 2003. The FACT Act, a revision of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, allows consumers to get one free comprehensive disclosure of all of the information in their credit file from each of the three national credit reporting agencies once every 12 months through a central source.
Additional credit reports and scores cost $9.50. When these reports are ordered online with a credit card, the consumer generally will receive the report immediately; this is the method preferred by these companies. Some will allow some reports and scores to be ordered by telephone or mail, which will take longer before receiving the desired information..
- Equifax provides credit reports and credit scores: 800-685-111.
- Experian (formerly TRW) provides credit reports and credit scores: 888-397-3742.
- TransUnion provides credit reports and credit scores: 800-888-4213 .
Consumers may request a copy of their TransUnion Personal Credit Reports & Scores by writing to TransUnion LLC, Consumer Disclosure Center, P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA, 19022.
- Consumers can obtain their FICO credit scores and credit reports from www.myfico.com.
Predatory lending resources
WRA homebuyer handouts
REALTORS® can distribute these handouts to the buyers they work with.
Milwaukee partnership to stop predatory lending practices
The Milwaukee Fair Housing Counsel and its partners have begun an initiative to identify and eliminate predatory lending practices. The Strategies to Overcome Predatory Practice (STOPP) coalition will combat predatory lending by outreach, education, research, financial options and enforcement in Milwaukee County. Predatory lending involves practices such as charging borrowers excessive rates and fees, refinancings with high points and fees, and lender failure to disclose all financing costs. Borrowers and potential borrowers may call the coalition's consumer line at 414-278-9190 for advice and help.