New service reveals contractors’ credit histories

Contractorcheck3_2How would you feel if a remodeling contractor pulled a report on your credit worthiness to find out if you have made late payments to other creditors, or had any bankruptcies, liens or judgments against you?

A contractor considering doing work for you would want to know if you pay your bills, don’t you think?

I’m not sure that information is easy for a contractor to get about you, but you can now easily get that information about contractors you are considering hiring.

At Experian’s Contractor Check website, you type in a company’s name, city and state and order a report that shows time in business, licensing, bonding, insurance, liens, judgments and bankruptcies. It even shows if there are late payments or accounts in collections.

Reports cost $12.95 each, or $9.95 a month with a $20 registration fee.

But during December, a news release announces, consumers can get 10 reports free.

I tried out the free service, typing in the names of contractors I know and then downloading the reports that were e-mailed to me. I must say, I was shocked at some of the big red marks — liens, history of late payments, accounts in collections — I saw against some of the companies I respect. I’m not sure what to think of all this.

And I wonder: How long it will take for Experian to offer reports on homeowners who have a pattern of not paying their bills? Do you think contractors should have easy access to your credit history?

(Graphic: Snippet from an Experian Contractor Check report)

2 Comments on New service reveals contractors’ credit histories

  1. lil_gaucha

    I don’t see anything wrong with either. I think the more info out there, the more trust can be built. If they know I’m not likely to rip them off and I know they’re not likely to rip them off, everyone will be a lot less tense about money from the get go.

  2. Susan

    > Do you think contractors should have easy access to your credit history?
    I figure anyone has access to my credit history (for a price), but in our case the contractor was paid by our bank– and they have an excellent credit history. If you have a construction loan, I think this is always the case. I believe our bank checked out our contractor, too.