Selling Guide

Published August 29, 2017

B3-5.2-02: Types of Credit Reports (08/30/2016)

This topic contains information on the types of credit reports that are accepted by Fannie Mae, including:

In-File Credit Reports

An in-file credit report provides credit and public record information obtained from one or more credit repositories. The report contains “as is” information, which typically has not been updated or re-verified as a result of the credit inquiry.

The report must meet the following requirements:

  • The report should include all information from three different credit repositories, or two repositories, if that is the extent of the data available for the borrower. If only one in-file credit report is available for a borrower, this is acceptable if the lender is able to obtain a credit score for the borrower and the lender requested information from three credit repositories.

  • If the report does not include a reference for each significant debt reported by the borrower on the loan application, the lender must obtain a separate written verification for each unreported (or unrated) debt.

  • If the report lists accounts that were not checked with the creditor within 90 days of the date of the in-file report, the lender must obtain an updated credit report or a separate written verification for those accounts.

Automated Merged Credit Reports

An automated merged credit report combines the in-file credit reports from multiple repositories into a single report. A joint merged credit report includes all credit repository credit data on more than one individual applicant.

The report must meet the following requirements:

  • The report must include all information from three different credit repositories, or two repositories, if that is the extent of the data available for the borrower. If information from only one credit repository is available, this is acceptable if the lender is able to obtain a credit score for the borrower and the lender requested information from three different credit repositories.

  • The report cannot be provided by a credit reporting agency that is affiliated with the lender in any way.

  • The report must include all information reported for the borrower from the in-file credit reports.

  • The report must identify the repositories that were used for the in-file credit reports.

  • The report does not have to repeat duplicate information that is in in-file credit reports. However, if duplicate information is not exactly the same on each report, the automated merged report must either repeat the information or include the most derogatory of the duplicate information that pertains to payment history and/or current payment status.

Residential Mortgage Credit Reports

A residential mortgage credit report is a detailed account of the borrower’s credit, employment, and residency history, as well as public records information.

The report must meet the following requirements:

  • The credit reporting agency must contact at least two national repositories of accumulated credit records for each locality in which the borrower has lived during the most recent two-year period.

  • All information must be obtained from, or verified by, sources other than the borrower. When co-borrowers have individually obtained credit, separate repository inquiries are necessary, although the results of both reports may be combined in one report, as long as the report clearly indicates that this has been done.

  • The credit reporting agency must verify, either in writing or by telephone, the borrower’s current employment and income (if it can be obtained). If the borrower has changed jobs in the past two years, the credit report also must mention the borrower’s previous employment and income.

  • The report must include a positive statement that the employment was verified, the date of the verification, and the name of the individual who confirmed the employment. If this information was not obtained by an employer interview, the credit reporting agency must indicate why that was not done.

  • The report must include the name of the party who ordered the report. If another party paid for the report, the credit report must provide that party’s name, unless the lender ordered the report and the billed party has a documented agent or corporate relationship with the lender.

  • The original report must be delivered to the office of the party who requested it, using any means acceptable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act or other similar regulations, such as sending it through the U.S. postal system, by messenger, over a fax machine, or through other automated means.

  • The report must include a certification that it meets the standards for a residential mortgage credit report.

When the credit reporting agency has incomplete information, discovers that the borrower might not have disclosed all information that should be found in the public records, or obtains other information that indicates the possible existence of undisclosed credit records, the credit reporting agency must interview the borrower(s) to obtain additional information that is needed to provide an accurate report or perform additional research to verify whether the purported undisclosed records actually exist.

Related Announcements

The table below provides references to the Announcements that have been issued that are related to this topic.

Announcement Issue Date
Announcement SEL-2016–07 August 30, 2016
Announcement SEL-2010–13 September 20, 2010