Unless a company advertises "No Teletrack payday loans" or something similar, they'll probably check your Teletrack report when you apply for a loan. It's a credit reporting bureau just like the big three credit bureaus, but it specializes in giving information about your credit history to quick cash loan places, installment loan companies and rent-to-own stores.
You may not even realize you have a report, until you're turned down for a payday loan or installment loan.
But you don't need to be stuck looking for "No Teletrack" payday loans, especially if you think there might be a mistake on your report. If you've been refused a payday loan, order a free copy of your report and if you see something wrong, you can get it corrected.
Print out this form (it's a pdf file). Fill it out and sign it. Make a photocopy of your driver's license and mail it with the form to:
5550-A Peachtree Parkway, Suite 600
Norcross, GA 30092
Attention: Customer Service
The company wants to make sure it doesn't accidentally give out your report to someone who's not you, which is why they want to see your driver's license.
When the report comes in the mail, read over it and see if everything's right. If you notice a mistake, call 877-309-5226, ask for a Customer Service Representative and say that you want to start an investigation about an error on your report. They'll ask for the information they need and take it from there.
Teletrack doesn't tell payday loan companies whether to accept or deny your loan, so it won't do any good to argue with them that you should have been approved. But you can see exactly what information they reported about you that made the payday loan company nervous. You may have a clean credit report with the big three credit bureaus, but have a completely different report that the payday loan companies are looking at.
Unfortunately, you can't prevent companies from reporting what you do to Teletrack or any of the credit bureaus, because of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The act works on your behalf in some ways, though, because Teletrack recently agreed to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint that it was selling private information from consumers to marketers. If you took out a payday loan, Teletrack might have sold that information to another company that wanted to target people like you for advertising, according to the FTC. Settling the complaint cost Teletrack $1.8 million. So Teletrack has been put on notice that it can only give your credit information to companies with a legitimate purpose under the FCRA, such as when you've applied for a loan.
But Teletrack is controlled by a company called CoreLogic, and big brother is going to be watching you even more closely, when you do apply for credit. An article in the New York Times reported that CoreLogic is offering businesses a wider variety of information about consumers, besides the usual things in traditional credit reports, like mortgages, car payments and credit cards. It'll include data on things like child support judgments, missed payments of rent or utilities, or evictions, as well as data that Teletrack compiles like payday loans, wrapped up in a "CoreScore" report.
It used to be that the big three credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, didn't keep a record of smaller things like payday loans, and companies like Teletrack only focused on payday loans, store financing, etc. Landlords needed to check with CoreLogic's SafeRent service to find out a renter's history. Now, CoreLogic will be combining all that and more into one big credit score, that will be available for 100 million Americans, according to the New York Times article. You'll be able to get a free copy of your report through the annualcreditreport.com website once a year, or anytime a business uses your score to turn you down, and you can dispute any errors by following CoreLogic's instructions. But it's just one more way that Teletrack and its parent company will be monitoring not only payday loans, but whether you pay your rent, utilities and other bills on time.
You can't stop lenders from looking at your credit report when you apply for a payday loan or installment loan. Some choose not to, and they usually advertise the fact by saying they offer "no Teletrack" loans, but since they're taking more of a risk, their loans may be more expensive. But even if you can't stop a lender from looking at your report, you can at least make sure the information is accurate, by getting your report, checking it for errors and disputing it if necessary.