Getting Credit Information

In the preceding article we discussed setting interest rates. Before we can do this we need some basic information about
the customer we are about to see. Information is power.
It is our strong suggestion that you have the credit report on every customer before they come into the F&I office.
There are two ways to get this information.
1. Credit Application. Many of you already get a completed credit application on every customer. If this is the case, you
have no problem running a bureau on your customers before they come to you.
2. A 5-liner. This is a small sheet that contains the basic information need to run a bureau and a signature block for the
customer to sign, giving the dealer permission to obtain their credit information. (If you need copies, call our office at
1-800-928-1923 and ask for a copy of a 5-liner.)
You need complete credit information on every customer for several reasons. One reason is for conversions. If you see
that the customer has other lending sources, you will know what you need to do to convert them. Also, you need this
information to determine the rate that the customer will qualify for. A complete credit history also helps protect the dealer.
If a customer is paying cash, you will probably be accepting a sizable check as payment. Your customers are not
offended that you need to know a little about them before accepting a check and sending them down the road in a
vehicle worth several thousand dollars.
Having a complete credit history also allows you a better chance of getting your customers approved. There is nothing
your lender hates worse than incomplete information.
Get in the habit of running a credit report on every customer.
It will just help you do a better job for the dealership and the customer.

George Angus is with Team One Research and Training, a research and training company that specializes in scientific,
research based program development and training programs for the automobile industry. George has trained thousands
of F&I professionals and develops programs and techniques with the top performing F&I departments in the country.
Team One can be reached at 1-800-928-1923 or on the web at
George Angus has had over 100 articles published in news and trade publications. This
article is a recent example of George's reporting of information derived from researching,
training,  and working with the leading F&I managers in the US and Canada.