Understanding Credit Reports
Credit Report: This is a report that combines all the information reported by businesses and organizations about an individual’s credit activities and current credit situations. The information is a combination of the different credit, loan and payment activities and is compiled into a report. There are three credit bureaus that compile these reports. Not all businesses report to every bureau which causes the reports to sometimes be different.
According to Annualcreditreport.com a credit report may include:
- A list of businesses that have given you credit or loans
- The total amount for each loan or credit limit for each credit card
- How often you paid your credit or loans on time, and the amount you paid
- Any missed or late payments as well as bad debts
- A list of businesses that have obtained your credit report within a certain time period
- Your current and former names, address(es), birthdate, social security number, phone number and/or employers
- Any bankruptcies or other public record information
The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that each credit bureau give consumers one free credit report a year. The three credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The credit bureaus provide information to credit score companies such as FICO so that credit scores can be determined.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission both provide excellent additional resources on credit reports. The Federal Trade Commission has resources available to aid in reporting items that are on an individual’s credit report in error.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-credit-report-en-309/
Federal Trade Commission: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/credit-and-loans?sort=subject