My organization has been running and submitting Tri-Merge Credit Reports (TMCR) under the Temporary Authorization through this fiscal year and we’re wondering what happens if a grantee/packager submits a TMCR with a package and it expires before closing? Who pays for the new credit report? I know if RD initially runs it and then has to re-run it, they absorb that cost but how does it work if the grantee ordered it?

Sincerely, Who Pays

Dear Who Pays,

I didn’t know the answer to this one either and had to reach out! I was surprised when my contact didn’t readily know either and had to reach out to their own source, so great question!

The credit reports are good for nine months, so hopefully this won’t come up often.  But, if the packager provided the credit report and then it expires prior to closing, RD will order a TMCR at no charge to the applicant.

Dear Sher,

I can’t find anything in the handbook that addresses credit card accounts where the applicant is an authorized user but, not responsible for the debt.  Do I have to count the payments in the total debt ratio?

Sincerely, Authorized or Responsible

Dear Authorized or Responsible,

Nope, you don’t need to count a thing. If they are just an authorized user, they aren’t responsible for any of the debt! The same way you can’t use a tradeline if they are an authorized user; they have no control. I always give this personal example. When I was in college, I put my cat on my credit card as an authorized user and they sent him his own card in his name and everything. I used a paw print stamp for his signature, and he could pay his own bill at the vet! But clearly, they could never come after him for the debt, an authorized user doesn’t even need to be a human!

Dear Sher is a regular Self Help Builder News feature. If you have a question you would like answered or researched by Sher, please send it to and your question may be featured in a future publication.