Industry News

Industry watchdogs warn of credit-booster sites

False credit boost could enable real estate loan fraud

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Web sites offering ways for consumers to artificially boost their credit scores should be approached with caution by lenders and consumers, industry watchdogs say. Seasoned Trade Lines of Largo, Fla., charges consumers $1,000 to $3,000 to artificially boost their credit ratings by adding them to established credit cardholders' accounts. The site, which launched in January, promises to "add up to 200 points to your credit score in 90 days," claiming that the average client's score increases 215 points. Jim Croft, founder of the Mortgage Asset Research Institute, and other industry watchdogs said Seasoned Trade Lines is not the only site offering such a service, and that sites that do so are highly suspect. "It's tricking the potential lender and, in the long run, not doing any favors for the potential borrower," said Croft. The Mortgage Asset Research Institute, MARI, is a group endorsed by the Mortgage Bankers Association that tracks mortgage fraud. Mortgage lenders rely on a number o...