CLARK HOWARD: Consumers Should Get A C.L.U.E.

ATLANTA, Ga.,None — When using a credit card, buying a house or purchasing car, having a good credit score is important, but a credit report is not the only one consumers need to worry about.

Consumers need to take note of the C.L.U.E. report too. C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange.

Insurance companies use C.L.U.E. reports to track when consumers make a claim.

But WSB-TV's Clark Howard said people can use that information to their advantage, too.

For example, home sellers can use the report to give possible buyers confidence in the home.

"As a homeowner, if you run a C.L.U.E. report on your home, it will tell you for the last seven years the history of any possible claims that you might have had on that property, so that works out very well if you are selling your house," said Dave Colmans from the Georgia Insurance Information Service.

Mortgage broker Laura Sosa-Rocha learned about the C.L.U.E. report recently. She once had a client who found the perfect home, and the bank would give her a loan, but not for that particular house.

"They would not do a mortgage on the home because there were so many claims that had happened, so I think that would have saved the borrower the money for the inspection, the money for the appraisal. So I think it's a great idea; why not," Sosa-Rocha said.

Those interested in a C.L.U.E. report don't have to be buying a home to see one. Go to Choicetrust.com and fill out the information, and the company will send one for free.