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Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Options: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options?
  2. What is a Merged Credit Reference Number?
  3. How do I get setup and prepare to use the merged credit report options?
  4. What does "Existing CRC customer" mean? 
  5. What does "New CRC customer" mean?
  6. Who are the credit service providers?
  7. What is a CRC technical affiliate?
  8. Who do I contact to sign-up with a CRC or technical affiliate?
  9. I contacted my local representative at my credit company and they didn't know how to sign up for Loan Prospector, so who should they call?
  10. I have an existing relationship with a CRC, but my wholesale lender only does business through another company. Do I have to sign up with their CRC?
  11. What will happen if I'm not signed up with a CRC and I try to score a loan in Loan Prospector?

How to Use the Merged Credit Report Options

  1. How do I order merged credit reports in LoanProspector.com?
  2. Where will the Reference Number(s) appear?
  3. How do I use the Merged Credit Reference Number?
  4. What happens if the wrong Reference Number(s) is entered? 
  5. What happens if I've already ordered merged credit and I select the Merged Credit box again on a re-submission?
  6. What is critical borrower data?
  7. If merged credit is ordered without an AUS assessment, what will I get?
  8. If I add a borrower to my loan AUS assessment, can I use the Reference Number from my earlier credit request?
  9. If I order a merged credit report from a CRC through Loan Prospector without an AUS Assessment, will it count as one of my 15 permissible submissions to Loan Prospector?
  10. Do I need to re-enter the Reference Number every time I resubmit the loan?
  11. What is the difference between instances when the feedback message credit is "reused" vs. "reassessed" vs. "reordered"?
  12. Can I use Merged Credit with two closing construction-to-permanent mortgages or construction of mortgaged premises completed after application?
  13. Can I use multiple Reference Numbers in LoanProspector.com?
  14. If I use a Reference Number for one borrower, do I need to use it for all borrowers on the submission? 
  15. Where can I find details regarding my merged credit report request? 
  16. When do I need to order a new merged credit vs. when can I use an existing Reference Number?
  17. If I receive a "Borrower Co-Borrower Mismatch" ME error message from a CRC what does this mean?
  18. How do I add a borrower to a loan and resubmit with the Reference Number?
  19. Where can I find the Reference Number displayed in Loan Prospector?
  20. How do I order or reissue a merged credit report using a technical affiliate in Loan Prospector?

Billing

  1. Are there any additional costs to use the merged credit options?
  2. How will I be billed for merged credit reports and Reference Number fees?
  3. What is secondary use?
  4. Do all the CRCs charge a Reference Number fee? 
  5. Will I be charged a fee if I use multiple Reference Numbers?

Resources

  1. Who do I contact if I have questions or need more information about merged credit report options charges/fees?
  2. Who do I contact if I have questions or need more information regarding Merged Credit Report Options sign-up process?
 

Overview and Sign up Process

  1. What are Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options?

    Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options allow you to:

    • Order merged credit reports from a participating credit reporting company (CRC) or technical affiliate through Loan Prospector before, or simultaneously when submitting a loan for assessment
    • Access credit reports previously ordered from a participating CRC or technical affiliate using a Reference Number
    • Submit loans to Loan Prospector using multiple merged credit report Reference Numbers, making it easier for you to assess loans with several borrowers in Loan Prospector

    Note: Wholesale lenders may require third party originators (TPOs) to only use merged credit and/or merged credit Reference Numbers. TPOs should check with their wholesale lender for more information.

  2. What is a Merged Credit Reference Number?

    In Loan Prospector, the credit report identifier is called a Merged Credit Reference Number (MCRN). Merged credit reports previously ordered outside of Loan Prospector may be reaccessed by submitting the MCRN with the initial Loan Prospector transaction. Additionally, users should resend the MCRNs on all resubmissions. If the MCRN or critical borrower data has changed for any given borrower or joint pair of borrowers, Loan Prospector will request new merged credit from the CRC using the MCRN provided. If the MCRN is valid at the CRC, Loan Prospector will display the reissued merged credit report. If the MCRN is invalid at the CRC, then Loan Prospector will display an error message from the CRC.

  3. How do I get setup and prepare to use the merged credit report options?

    If you're a new Loan Prospector user there are only a few things you need to do to be able to use Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Options:

    • After you have received a Loan Prospector TPO number, you will need to establish an agreement with one or more participating CRCs or their technical affiliates. Make sure your agreement allows you to order merged credit through Loan Prospector.
    • If you are an existing CRC customer, in order to use Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options, you must update your account with your TPO number to request merged credit reports and access merged credit reports with Reference Numbers through Loan Prospector. To update your account in Loan Prospector, please complete the on-line registration form and provide the following information:
      • Freddie Mac Seller/Servicer Number or TPO Number
      • CRC Account Number
      • Your Institution Name and Contact Information
    • If you are contacted by the credit reporting company, please respond to their inquiry as soon as possible, since this is part of the Loan Prospector registration process. A delayed response may hold up your registration completion.
    • TPOs, please confirm with your wholesaler(s) the CRC(s) and any technical affiliates you use, as you need to have these set up to use Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options. If they require a different company than your existing relationship, you will need to follow the "new CRC customer" path for setting up merged credit in Loan Prospector.
    • If you are using MCRN(s) make sure you're Loan Origination System (LOS) includes the Reference Number field(s). Contact your LOS vendor today and ask if you're on the most recent version of their software, or see a list of the vendors that have updated their software.
  4. What does "Existing CRC customer" mean?

    If you have an existing relationship with a CRC or technical affiliate, in order to use Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options, you must update your account with your TPO number to access merged credit reports and Reference Numbers through Loan Prospector.

    Although you have an existing relationship with a CRC (or technical affiliate), in order to use Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options, you must update your account with your TPO number to request merged credit reports and access merged credit reports and Reference Numbers through Loan Prospector. Update your CRC account with your Loan Prospector TPO number or Freddie Mac/Seller Number.

    If you are a TPO, please confirm with your wholesaler lender the CRC(s) and any technical affiliates you use, as you need to have these set up to use Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options. If they require a different company than your existing relationship, you will need to follow the new CRC customer path for setting up merged credit in Loan Prospector.

  5. What does "New CRC customer" mean?

    New CRC customers who don't already have an agreement with a CRC or technical affiliate, will need to contact at least one of Loan Prospector's participating CRCs or their technical affiliates to establish an agreement before using our merged credit report options. To set up an agreement with the CRC(s) or their technical affiliate(s), complete the agreements for the CRC(s) or affiliate(s) of your choice. If PDF agreements are provided, please mail or fax completed agreements directly to the appropriate reporting company or affiliate, not to Freddie Mac. Online agreements can be submitted electronically.

  6. Who are the credit service providers?

    Loan Prospector has direct connections with participating CRCs to provide merged credit reports from them or over 70 of their technical affiliates. You may establish your own agreements with any of the five CRCs or their technical affiliates to utilize the merged credit report options in Loan Prospector.

  7. What is a CRC technical affiliate?

    The CRC technical affiliates provide credit reports and services through one of the five direct CRCs that offer merged credit reports through Loan Prospector. To establish an agreement with a technical affiliate, contact the technical affiliate company directly. If you already have an existing relationship with one of the technical affiliates, you will still need to contact them to update your account with your TPO number to use merged credit through Loan Prospector.

    Note: To indicate a technical affiliate in Loan Prospector, you must select the sponsoring CRC on the Request Services page.

  8. Who do I contact to sign-up with a CRC or technical affiliate?

    The contact information for the Loan Prospector sign-up process is as follows:

    • To establish a new relationship and agreement with one or more of the CRCs or technical affiliates, refer to the information for new CRC customers.
    • If you are an existing CRC customer, in order to use Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options, you must update your account with your TPO number to access merged credit reports and Reference Numbers through Loan Prospector.
  9. I contacted my local representative at my credit company and they didn't know how to sign up for Loan Prospector, so who should they call?

    Your local representative may not be directly involved with the sign up for Loan Prospector, and may not know the proper procedures. Therefore, you should directly contact the CRC contact(s) listed to get setup.

  10. I have an existing relationship with a CRC (or sponsored technical affiliate), but my wholesale lender only does business through another company. Do I have to sign up with their CRC?

    Yes. Even if you have an existing relationship with a CRC or technical affiliate, in order to use Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options through a wholesale lenders' system or website, you must be setup with that lender's CRC. If you already have an existing relationship with your wholesale lender's CRC, you still need to update your account with your TPO number to access merged credit reports and/or Reference Numbers through Loan Prospector.  

  11. What will happen if I'm not signed up with a CRC and I try to assess a loan in Loan Prospector?

    Loan Prospector will return an invalid status message and the transaction will not process. You must have a relationship with one or more CRCs or their technical affiliates, in order to use Loan Prospector's Merged Credit Report Options. Even if you have an existing relationship with that CRC, you will need to specifically update your account with your TPO number to access merged credit reports and/or Reference Numbers through Loan Prospector.  

 

How to Use the Merged Credit Report Options

  1. How do I request merged credit reports in LoanProspector.com?

    The process for requesting merged credit with an automated underwriting service (AUS) assessment is the same as it's always been, whether a conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage type:

    1. On the Request Services page select Merged Credit 
    2. Select your credit reporting company and
    3. Select your technical affiliate, if applicable
    4. Select single or joint report type and enter the relevant application details


    If you want to request merged credit without an AUS assessment, follow the steps listed above plus the following:

    Deselect Automated Underwriting
  2. Where will the Reference Number(s) appear?

    The Reference Number(s) will appear on your Loan Prospector Feedback Certificate in the Credit Report Information section. For FHA TOTAL Mortgage Scorecard loans, the Reference Number will appear on the feedback certificate in the Credit Information section.

  3. How do I use the Merged Credit Reference Number?

    Following these steps to use the MCRN:

    1. Select Request Services
    2. Select Merged Credit
    3. Select the Credit Reporting Company
    4. Select your technical affiliate, if applicable
    5. Select Single or Joint report type
    6. Enter Reference Number


    We encourage you to send MCRNs on all resubmission.

    For FHA loan submissions, the user must select merged credit at the top of the request services page and include the Reference Number.

  4. What happens if the wrong Reference Number(s) is entered?

    The CRC will verify the Reference Number entered matches each borrower name and Social Security Number. If there is a problem with the Reference Number entered, Loan Prospector will return an error message, and you may enter the correct number and resubmit or contact the CRC directly based on the details provided in the error message returned in the Loan Prospector results.

  5. What happens if I've already ordered merged credit and I select the Merged Credit box again on a re-submission?

    On a resubmission, if the Merged Credit box is selected a new report may be ordered, and you may be charged a merged credit report fee when:

    • No Reference Number(s) is provided or
    • Critical borrower data has changed or
    • A borrower(s) is added, there’s a change in joint merged indicator, or change in borrower order in a joint merged pair or
    • Change in CRC or technical affiliate identifier
    • Change in mortgage product (FHA to conventional /VA or vice versa) or
    • The report has an expired credit expiration (at the borrower level)
    • Change from Merged Credit to Merged Credit – All

    When the Merged Credit box is selected, enter a Reference Number in Loan Prospector, so it can be validated by the CRC (or technical affiliate, if identified) to ensure the correct merged credit report is accessed. When you order merged credit from a CRC (or technical affiliate) without an assessment, the Reference Number is returned to you on the Request Services page for your optional possible future use. If the Reference Number is used, you won't incur a CRC full merged credit fee, but you may incur a CRC Reference Number fee.

    If any of these changes occur, you can either select merged credit again, or use credit infiles from the repositories for conventional or VA loans only.

  6. What is critical borrower data?

    Critical borrower data includes borrower last name, and Social Security Number. On resubmissions, a change in borrower order is also considered a critical borrower data change.

  7. If merged credit is ordered without an AUS assessment, what will I get?

    You'll get a merged credit report that includes your Lender ID, Transaction ID, and Loan Prospector AUS Key Number. You will also be able to access the new Merged Credit Certificate as a feedback option.

  8. If I add a borrower to my loan AUS assessment, can I use the Reference Number from my earlier credit request?

    Yes, if you order an AUS assessment with a Reference Number and have multiple borrowers, all borrowers must have a unique Reference Number (single) or the same Reference Number (joint). If all borrowers do not have a Reference Number, you'll first need to request order merged credit, without an assessment, to obtain the Reference Number(s). Once you've done this, you can order an assessment using Reference Numbers for all borrowers.

  9. If I order a merged credit report from a CRC (or technical affiliate) through Loan Prospector without an AUS Assessment, will it count as one of my 15 permissible submissions to Loan Prospector?

    No. Ordering merged credit without AUS assessment is not considered a submission to Loan Prospector.

  10. Do I need to re-enter the Reference Number every time I resubmit the loan?

    We encourage you to send MCRNs on all resubmissions.

    1. Select Request Services
    2. Select Automated Underwriting
    3. Select Merged Credit
    4. Select the Credit Reporting Company
    5. Select the associated Technical Affiliate (if applicable)
    6. Select Single or Joint report type
    7. Enter Reference Number


    Do not include the previous MCRN(s) when selecting the Reorder Credit option in Loan Prospector.

  11. What is the difference between instances when the feedback message credit is "reused" vs. "reaccessed" vs. "reordered"?

    The definitions are as follows:

    • Re-used: Previously viewed credit is displayed.
    • Re-accessed:  A copy of the same consumer report is re-issued by the CRC (or technical affiliate, if applicable) to the same requesting entity.
    • Re-ordered: Credit is re-ordered due to the user indicating to reorder credit in Loan Prospector, through the Reorder Credit Service, or because Loan Prospector cannot re-use or re-access credit (for example, if critical borrower data has changed or the credit has expired). If credit is re-ordered, an additional merged credit fee may apply, and another inquiry has been made in the borrower's credit report file. The Reorder Credit Service option can be found on the Request Services page by Loan Prospector browser access method, and is also available by system-to-system access method. The Reorder Credit Service is available for either credit infiles or merged credit.

    Note: The Loan Prospector feedback certificate will provide a re-access or re-ordered indicator feedback message.

  12. Can I use Merged Credit with two closing construction-to-permanent mortgages or construction of mortgaged premises completed after application?

    In the Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide Bulletin 2012-4, we announced the removal of Newly Built as a New Construction option. Loan Prospector will be updated at a later date to remove this option for conventional mortgages. You will need to either unselect the Newly Built option, and/or select from the remaining options of Construction Conversion/Renovation.

    Loan Prospector uses the standard 120-day credit freshness determination for the assessment expiration date, unless critical borrower data changes, other critical data changes, or change in entity are detected.

    Merged credit will be obtained and displayed if merged credit is requested with the AUS, or infiles if Reference Numbers are entered to access previously ordered merged credit data. FHA and VA loans with new construction identifiers are still eligible for extended credit freshness to 180 days.

    Note: The Loan Prospector assessment expiration date will be determine the age of documentation, based on both the oldest credit report issue date (across all borrowers), loan type and program (i.e., new construction indicator).

    For more information on using Loan Prospector's merged credit options, refer to the resources available on our Freddie Mac Learning Center.

  13. Can I use multiple Reference Numbers in LoanProspector.com?

    Yes, you may submit up to five merged credit report Reference Numbers, matching the maximum number of borrowers you can submit to Loan Prospector. The five Reference Numbers can include a combination of joint and individual reports. All individual MCRN's must be unique numbers, whereas a joint merged credit request must be the same for the borrower(s) indicated as jointly requested.

  14. If I use a Reference Number for one borrower, do I need to use it for all borrowers on the submission?

    If you order merged credit only, you can have some borrowers with a Reference Number and some without a Reference Number. If you order an AUS assessment with a Reference Number and have multiple borrowers, all borrowers must have a Reference Number (joint or single). If all borrowers do not have a Reference Number, you'll first need to order merged credit to obtain the Reference Numbers. Once you've done this, you can order an assessment with Reference Numbers for all borrowers.

  15. Where can I find details regarding my merged credit report request?

    If you're using Loan Prospector to order merged credit reports before assessing your loan in Loan Prospector, you'll find the following information on the Merged Credit Certificate:

    • Borrower and Loan Identifier Information
    • Merged Credit Status
    • Credit Information (including information for each of the applicable borrowers and if credit has been reordered or reassessed for each of those borrowers)
    • Transaction Information
    • Assignment Information

    Look for the Merged Credit Certificate in the Results section of Loan Prospector. You'll only see the Merged Credit Certificate if you have requested merged credit only and your Merged Credit status = Complete. If you request merged credit only and the status = Incomplete or Invalid, the Merged Credit Certificate will only display the applicable errors. You will not find the full merged credit report on this certificate. The full merged credit reports can be found in the Results section of the Loan Prospector Feedback Certificate.

  16. When do I need to order a new merged credit vs. when can I use an existing Reference Number?

    You may receive a CRC Merged Credit Error (ME) when using an existing Reference Number and may need to order new merged credit, if you:

    • Change a merged credit specification upon resubmission from Joint to Single (or vice versa)
    • Start with one (married) borrower and try to use a Reference Number previously issued as Joint, but have only one borrower on the Loan Prospector AUS assessment.
    • Submit Borrower 1 and Borrower 2 as Joint (married), but resubmit them as individual (single/engaged)
    • Make changes to erroneous data at credit repositories and want an updated merged credit report to be re-assessed in Loan Prospector.
    • Change a CRC or technical affiliate identifier

    Note: If you make a data change and use the Reorder Credit Service to request new merged credit, and do not like the updated credit data returned, Loan Prospector will not allow you to reaccess credit using the prior MCRN. Loan Prospector will only use credit data from the most recent complete transaction.

  17. If I receive a "Borrower Co-Borrower Mismatch" ME error message from a CRC what does this mean?

    This occurs when the identifying information submitted, including the Reference Number, CRC name, merged credit (joint/single) indicator, borrower order, borrower last name(s) and Social Security Number data do not match the original record. To correct, you'll need to review the data entered to ensure the information submitted with the Reference Number matches the original merged credit request. Changes to certain data fields may invalidate the use of the previous Reference Number. For example, if a middle name is provided, it will be used and returned in the top portion of the Loan Prospector Full Feedback Certificate.

  18. How do I add a borrower to a loan and resubmit with the Reference Number?

    If you are resubmitting to add a borrower with a Reference Number, select the Automated Underwriting, merged credit and Reference Number services boxes. Then include the Reference Number(s) for the added borrower(s). When you select this option, you will receive credit infiles in the feedback section. If you need or prefer to view/print the original merged credit report, resubmit as order merged credit with Reference Number and automated underwriting service.

  19. Where can I find the Reference Number displayed in Loan Prospector?

    The Reference Number(s) can be found in Loan Processing Remarks section of the Loan Prospector Full Feedback Certificate.

  20. How do I request or obtain a reissued merged credit report using a technical affiliate in Loan Prospector?

    The process for requesting merged credit with an automated underwriting service (AUS) assessment is the same as it's always been, whether a conventional, FHA or VA mortgage type:

    1. On the Request Services page select Merged Credit
    2. Select your credit reporting company and
    3. Select your technical affiliate, if applicable
    4. Select single or joint report type and enter the relevant application details

    If you want to request merged credit without an AUS assessment, follow the steps listed above plus the following:

    Deselect Automated Underwriting

 

Billing

  1. Are there any additional costs to use the merged credit options?

    Merged Credit or associated Merged Credit Reference Number fees are charged to you directly from the CRC(s). If you have questions or issues about your merged credit charges, you'll need to contact the billing contact at your selected CRC directly.

    Note: By using merged credit options in Loan Prospector, customers are eligible for a reduced AUS fee, with either merged credit, merged credit with AUS, or AUS and MCRN.

    If the user begins with Merged Credit Only, and then selects AUS, using the same prior MCRN issued, their Loan Prospector assessment fee will be reduced.

  2. How will I be billed for merged credit reports and Reference Number fees?

    All merged credit report option fees ordered in Loan Prospector will be billed to you directly from your selected CRC.

    You will receive your monthly merged credit fees ordered through Loan Prospector, including Reference Number fees and your current CRC fees, in one bill directly from the CRC. This will also include any secondary use fees, when and where applicable. These fees may vary, according to the CRC used, number of borrowers, and whether single or joint merge is indicated.

  3. What is secondary use?

    Secondary use submissions are requests for previously viewed credit data for the same loan application by secondary parties.

  4. Do all the CRCs charge a Reference Number fee?

    Merged credit and MCRN fees are charged to you directly from the CRC(s). If you have questions or issues about your merged credit charges, you'll need to contact the billing contact at your selected CRC directly.

  5. Will I be charged a fee if I use multiple Reference Numbers?

    If your CRC charges a fee to use a Reference Number in Loan Prospector, you will be charged that fee for each Reference Number you submit. For example, if you use three different Reference Numbers on the same transaction (based on the number of borrowers), and your CRC charges a $1 Reference Number fee, your total fee will be $3 for that submission.

 

Resources

  1. Who do I contact if I have questions or need more information about merged credit report options charges/fees?

    If you have questions or issues about your merged credit charges, you'll need to contact your selected CRC directly.

  2. Who do I contact if I have questions or need more information regarding Merged Credit Report Options sign-up process?

    You may initiate the call directly to the contact(s) listed for one or more of the credit reporting companies or technical affiliate to get setup.

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