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Credit Reports

Your credit report contains a factual record of your credit payment history. Whether you make a payment on time, are late with a payment, or miss a payment, the information is recorded on your credit report. As you pay your bills, most lenders report credit payment information to credit bureaus. So most of the information in your credit report comes directly from the companies you do business with. Credit grantors are permitted by law to review your credit report to determine whether to grant you credit.

A consumer credit report contains four types of information

  • Identifying information (name, address, social security number, birthday, employers)
  • Credit information (accounts or loans you have)
  • Public record information (bankruptcies, tax liens, monetary judgments), and
  • Inquiries (other applications for new credit that could result in additional debt)

Positive credit information remains on your credit report indefinitely. However, information about an account will cycle off your report if no new information is reported about it for seven years. Most negative information and other public record information remains on your credit report for up to 7 years, while bankruptcies can remain for up to 10 years.

Although credit reporting agencies provide your credit report to lenders when you apply for credit, they do not make actual lending decisions. It is up to individual lenders to evaluate your credit report and any other factors they consider important and then decide whether or not to offer you credit.

You are entitled to request a copy of your credit report to review as often as you wish. It is suggested that you look at your credit report at least once a year, and before applying for any form of credit, a job, an apartment or insurance. To obtain a copy of your credit report, contact any of these bureaus:

EQUIFAX
Customer Relations, PO Box 740141, Atlanta, GA  30374
800-685-1111
Equifax

EXPERIAN
National Consumer Assistance Center, Allen, TX  75013
888-397-3742
Experian

TRANS UNION
Consumer Relations, PO Box 390, Springfield, PA  19064
800-888-4213
Trans Union

To obtain free annual credit reports from all three credit bureaus, go to the official site:
ANNUAL CREDIT REPORT.COM
Annual Credit Report  


Content provided, with permission, from Money Management International

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This content was last modified on: 11/25/2015

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