What are credit reports?

Monday, June 1st, 2009

What are credit reports?

About credit reports

Every consumer who has ever applied for credit of any kind – from a gas station credit card to a mortgage – has a credit report, and they have a right to know what is in the report and correct any errors.

The credit report is a statement that shows identification, financial, and employment information:

  • Payment history – open accounts with creditors and whether or not the consumer paid on time
  • Inquiries – a list of anyone who has requested the report in the past year
  • Public information such as bankruptcies, foreclosures, or tax liens

For consumers who are seeking debt relief, understanding their credit report, and what it can and can’t do, is important.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a step to ensuring that credit reports a fair and accurate, and remain private. Consumers have the right to know what information is in their reports, but they have to request a copy of their report to see it.

The three major consumer reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – are required to provide consumersa copy of their reports for free once every twelve months or if a company denies a consumer credit, insurance, or employment, if the consumer requests the report within sixty days of notice of the action.

The easiest way to request free reports is via the website or toll-free telephone number set up so consumers can request reports from all three agencies: (877) 322-8228 or annualcreditreport.com.

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