Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Question button

hand with the words credit scoreThanks to the FACT Act (Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act), you are entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Trans Union, and Experian). (If you also want your credit score, you’ll have to pay a fee.)

Checking your credit report at least annually is very important to your financial well-being – and often overlooked in our busy lives. To obtain your free report, go to and follow the instructions.

Erroneous or outdated information in your credit file can cost you money because it lowers your credit scores, so it’s worth the trouble to check your credit. If you find incorrect information, you can contest it and have it corrected. Instructions for doing so can be found on each of the credit reporting agency websites & may be submitted online in most cases.

Be wary of “credit repair” scams. There are reputable firms in the credit repair business, but also many rogue companies that will charge fees and not do anything.

If you’re considering hiring a company to help improve your credit scores, be sure to check them out with the Better Business Bureau and your state’s Attorney General or Consumer Protection office before hiring them.


Category: Credit & Debt

photo hands and smartphoneIf you are thinking of doing work for the federal government or applying for a federal grant, you’ll need to have a D-U-N-S number issued by Dun & Bradstreet. This number is the reference number that Dun & Bradstreet assigns to your credit and business file. It’s commonly known as a D & B number.

Most banks and many of your suppliers or vendors will also use your D & B number to pull credit references for your business. If you don’t have a number, you can get one online for free.


percentage sign & question markIt is a mortgage related ratio that shows the relationship between a borrower’s monthly housing debt payments and monthly income.

As an example, if your gross monthly income is $3,000 and your monthly debt payments total $1,000 you have a 33% DTI (debt to income ratio):

$1,000 / $3,000 = 33%

Debt payments include mortgage principal and interest, student loans, credit cards, etc. The income used is before tax income or gross income.

Mortgage lenders usually prefer a DTI of 36% or less.


Category: Mortgages