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By David Meyer, Executive VP
If you’re a BHPH dealer, you already know the vast majority of your customers have credit challenges. Which means you’re probably not taking the extra effort and cost to pull your customers’ credit reports — unless, perhaps, those customers have come into default.
But there’s a strong case for pulling credit reports for those customers who are considering buying a car from you, as well. Credit reports reveal a wealth of important information about your customers, including discrepancies in STIPs. They can also tell you whether a customer is eligible for a loan, reveal past loan performances, and even let you know what other bills the customer is responsible for paying every month and whether they’ll be able to handle a car payment on top of everything else.
Pulling a credit report on prospective customers is a great best practice to adopt. But before you start pulling reports left and right, make sure you and your staff remain in compliance with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines. These guidelines tell you under what circumstances you’re allowed to pull credit reports, including: 1) When you have the customer’s written authorization to do so; 2) If you intend to use the credit report as part of a credit transaction involving the customer (i.e. if the customer is applying for a loan; and 3) When you have a legitimate business use — for instance, when a customer applies for credit with your dealership.
Along with pulling credit reports, there’s another useful tool available to you to help confirm STIPs and reduce recovery costs for delinquent vehicles. The GoldStar GPS vehicle tracking system comes with a powerful suite of reports, including a stops history report. This report notifies you when the vehicle has been stopped for over 10 minutes and for over 4 hours.
So, when you see a vehicle is parked in the same location for over 4 hours during daytime hours Monday through Friday, chances are that’s the customer’s place of work. On the other hand, when you see that the vehicle has been parked at another location over 4 hours during the night for consecutive nights, you can be pretty sure that’s the customer’s place of residence.
To learn the many other ways GoldStar GPS helps you reduce the cost and time of recovering and repossessing vehicles, visit GoldStarGPS.com.