Uniform Credit Reporting Coming

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There are three national credit reporting agencies, and one or more of them is called when you apply for a loan.

Until now, each national agency has evaluated credit worthiness in its own way. Now, the three are installing a new procedure that they say will make credit-scoring more consistent and objective.

Trustmark Bank president Billy Estes explained how the current system works.

"Several factors are going to go into that. Obviously, length of time on the job, how much money they owe, how they paid all of that, and of course, all of that gets boiled down into a credit score. The different credit bureaus at some point and we use those," Estes said. "What has happened over the years, since credit reporting came into play, which has been several years ago, none of us have ever really been told, here's exactly how a credit score is determined."

Estes said he believes having all three of the major credit bureaus unified on one system would be good for both the lender and the borrower.

"Credit scores are something we bankers use all the time so we understand it pretty well," Estes said. "If we had one consistent score that we knew would be the same across the board it would probably make life easier for us."

The bank president said he believes it would benefit the borrower as well because it would help them understand the standards that much better.

Either way, it boils down to pay your bills on time and your score will be good. Get behind on those bills and it will be bad. The new reporting rules will tell your lender what he needs and wants to know.