Tip #71: Always know your credit score before speaking to lenders
Many people assume that having an excellent credit score is enough when applying for a loan. It is not. Some lenders are not terribly scrupulous about offering you the best rate - especially if they can gain by having you pay higher interest. Some lenders will try to tell you that your credit score is lower than it is and that disqualifies you from a better rate. Some may rely on your ignorance (or what they think of your ignorance) about your credit score to quote you a worse rate.
Never let a lender do this. Always look up your credit score before shopping for a major loan and if you are quoted a rate you think is unfair, speak up and tell the credit officer that your credit score of 700 (or whatever the score is) seems to indicate a better loan.
Show the lender your printed copy of your credit score. If the lender tries to tell you that lenders get more accurate credit scores than customers who look up their own credit scores or tries to tell you that your credit score has changed, walk away. There are many reputable lenders out there. Find one of them rather than relying on a lender who will try to lie to make a profit.
Tip #72: Consider speaking to lenders face-to-face if you have a bad credit score
If you apply for a loan over the telephone or online, your credit score will count the most, because that is all the lender will likely look at before getting back to you with a quote. If you have bad credit but still need a loan, meeting with a lender face to face is your best bet because an actual meeting allows a lender to get an impression of you, and allows you to explain the problems you have had in the past and the things you are doing now to make yourself a better credit risk.
When you meet worth a lender in person, you force them to stop looking at you as a credit score number and make them look at you as an entire person. This can be a huge advantage for you (especially if you are personable) and can help you get the loan your credit score does not completely qualify you for.