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A credit report is a detailed report of an individual’s credit history. It includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you have been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy.
A credit report also contains information about your credit cards and loans, including the balances owed, payment history, and whether you have been late with payments.
The three major credit reporting agencies in the United States are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Each one generates its own credit report using information from creditors.
What is a Credit Report?
A credit report is a statement that shows an individual’s credit history. The report includes information on where the person lives, how they pay their bills, and whether they have been late on any payments. Credit reports also show if the person has any outstanding debt, and whether they have filed for bankruptcy.
Credit reports are used by lenders to determine whether or not to approve a loan. They are also used by landlords to decide whether or not to rent to a prospective tenant. Employers may also use credit reports to determine whether or not to hire an applicant.
Who Can Obtain a Credit Report?
There are a few reasons you may want to obtain a credit report. Maybe you’re considering a large purchase, like a home or a car, and you want to be sure your credit is in good standing. Or, perhaps you’re about to apply for a loan or credit card and you want to check your credit history beforehand.
In either case, it’s important to know who can obtain a credit report and how they can go about doing so.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), only people with a “legitimate business need” can access your credit report. This includes companies that are considering you for employment, insurance, or a loan.
Keep in mind that even if someone has a legitimate business need for your credit report, they must still follow the rules set forth by the FCRA. This means they can only access your report if they have your written permission, and they must tell you if the information in your report was used against you in any way.
If you’re concerned that someone may have accessed your credit report without your permission, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once every 12 months.
What Does a Credit Report Include?
Your credit report includes your name, current and previous addresses, employer (s), credit history and score. It will also show any bankruptcies, late payments or other derogatory information.
How long does negative information stay on a credit report?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The FCRA promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in the files of the nation’s credit reporting companies.
An important part of understanding a credit report is knowing that creditors only report to Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — and each company may use a different mix of creditors when calculating your credit score. That means your credit scores can vary depending on which company looks at your credit history.
The impact of negative information on your credit report generally decreases over time. For instance, if you have a late payment that is reported on your credit report, it will have less impact as time goes by. This is because late payments generally stay on your credit report for seven years.
In addition, bankruptcies generally stay on your credit report for 10 years and unpaid tax liens for 15 years. However, there are some negative items that can stay on your report for longer than seven years, such as foreclosures, defaults and judgments.
How can I get a copy of my credit report?
You are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — so you can check for accuracy and look for any red flags that may indicate fraud or identity theft. You can request your report online, by phone or by mail. If you order online, you may be able to immediately view your report; if you order by phone or mail, you will receive your report in about two weeks.
When ordering your report, you will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth. If you have been denied credit recently, you will also need to provide the name and address of the creditor who provided the information used to deny you credit. Once you have your report, review it carefully to make sure all the information is accurate and up-to-date. If you find any errors, disputed them with the credit bureau immediately.
A credit report shows your borrowing history. It includes information about whether you make your payments on time, how much debt you have, what kind of credit accounts you have, and any other negative information such as bankruptcies, foreclosures, or suits and judgments against you.