What is a credit report?
A credit report is a history of a person’s
credit. It is used to determine if a person can
handle credit and should be allowed to have more.
A credit reports lists a variety of information
including your name and social security number.
It also has your repayment history, how many cards
you have, what other kinds of credit you have
and other information.
The companies you have credit with report to
credit reporting agencies, typically monthly,
regarding your payment habits, Your credit history
is used to determine how much you can buy using
more credit. It is important to keep your credit
history happy and healthy. Pay your bills on time
and don’t get too deeply in debt.. Check
your credit report yearly and make sure it is
What does a credit report contain?
Credit reports differ depending upon which agency
originates it. However they all contain similar
information. In general a credit report contains
the following information
- Personal Information
Your full name, nicknames, birth date, social
security number, and current and previous addresses
and employers. This information comes from any
credit application you have completed.
- Public Record Information
Legal judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies, or,
in some states, overdue child support. This
information comes from public records.
Bankruptcies can remain on your credit report
for up to 10 years. Other public record information
can remain for up to 7 years.
- Credit History
The report lists all loans and credit lines
in your name from recent years. But generally
they show the type of loan, the date you began
the loan or opened the credit line, the amount
of the loan or credit limit, the amount you
still owe, and your payment pattern. the report
may list the number of times you've paid late,
including the times you were more than 30, 60,
and 90 days late. This information comes from
companies that do business with you.
Most information, whether positive or negative,
remains on your credit report for 7 years from
the date it is first reported, and then cycles
off automatically. If there is inaccurate information
in your credit report, you have the right to
dispute it and have it removed.
Companies who have obtained a copy of your credit
report within the past two years are listed
as inquiries. Inquiries indicate to other credit
grantors that you have applied for new credit
that could result in additional debt. Potential
lenders view multiple recent inquiries on your
credit report as a sign that you are overextending
yourself. It's common for a potential lender
to turn you down because of "excessive
inquiries." This information comes from
the credit reporting agency. Most inquiries
stay on your credit report for up to two years
The Credit Reporting System
The system provides continuously updated information
to lenders and others who are investigating your
credit history the credit reporting system benefits
everyone. Those who pay their bills on time will
find it easy to get more credit.
The credit reporting system:
- Opens new opportunities to obtain credit
- Speeds credit decisions
- Makes our credit-based economy possible