Your credit report provides potential lenders with a snapshot of your borrowing history. It is used by potential creditors, insurers, employers, landlords, and others to assess whether to extend credit to you or, in the case of a potential employer, enter into an employment relationship.
Credit reports are issued primarily by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the three major credit reporting bureaus.
The credit report contains the following information:
– Personal identifying information such as the consumer’s name, social security number, and current and prior addresses.
– An itemization of all credit granted to the consumer such as credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, student loans, credit union financing, and other borrowings. For each specific credit item, the credit report lists the name of the creditor and the type of credit instrument, the date the credit relationship was established, how much credit was provided, how much the consumer currently owes on the extension of credit, and whether the consumer has paid the debts on time. Any late payments are grouped by the number of days late (for example, 30, 60 or 90 days late).
– The consumer’s bank account information, including the names and addresses of all checking and savings accounts.
– Recent credit inquiries from third parties, such as applications for a new credit card.
– Certain legal proceedings, such as bankruptcies or liens filed against the consumer.
– Lender addresses and contact information for the consumer to dispute any item in the credit history.
Negative information will remain on the credit report for seven years. An exception is a bankruptcy filing, which will stay on the consumer’s report for ten years.
For potential employers checking a job applicant’s credit as part of a background check, the credit bureaus issue a truncated report which eliminates certain information generally found on the more comprehensive standard credit reports. The employment report omits the applicant’s credit score and such specific information as credit card numbers and the applicant’s age.
For more personal finance advice including helpful tips on how to improve your credit score, go to CreditScoreFree.net.
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