Mortgage Company Not Required to Report Payments

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Dear Experian,

I am a homeowner for five years now, and am wondering why my mortgage company does not have to report my mortgage to the three credit bureaus. I applied for a car loan and my bank told me that my home was not on any of the bureaus, so I did not need to include my mortgage payments to apply for any loans. Is this true?

- SBY

Dear SBY,

Lenders, including mortgage companies, are not required to report account information to the national credit reporting companies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs what a business must do if it chooses to report your account information to one or more of the national credit reporting companies. However, our national credit reporting system is entirely voluntary.

As for including your mortgage debt in your loan application, you might not have to do so legally, but ethically you should. A mortgage is a very substantial debt, and it will undoubtedly have an impact on your ability to repay the new debt for which you are applying.

If you were unable to pay the debt, the lender would likely be very interested as to why you chose not to tell them about the mortgage, and they might have legal recourse because you knowingly chose not to provide complete and accurate information about your existing debts when you applied for the loan. That's a question you should ask an attorney.

Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team

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