A credit report is a detailed compilation of information about the way you handle your debt, which is managed by businesses known as credit reporting agencies. In the United States, we have three major credit reporting agencies Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. All three credit reporting agencies collect your detailed information from lenders to create a credit report, and depending on the type of accounts you have will update every 30 days. Occasionally, some business do not report monthly, but if at any point you let the trade line go unpaid or late they will report.
What is a Credit Report?
1. Personal Information
This section will include Social security number, date of birth, address and employment history. This information can be excellent in identifying identity theft. Always verify that the information reporting is correct, especially if you have the same name and address as another family. This information can easily be reported incorrectly, and you may end up with a mixed credit file. Having a file that is combined could be a significant hassle when trying to correct it.
2. Trade Lines
This section will include department store cards, automobile loans, mortgages and credit cards, and depending on the status of the account it may or not be positive or negative. If you have had a bankruptcy, charge off or repossession this may be negative.
3. Collection Accounts
A collection may be an unpaid medical bill, an unpaid utility bill, or any other bill that went into delinquency and being reported to the credit bureaus from the original company. A Collection item listed on the credit report will always be considered harmful no matter if it is paid or unpaid.
Court records include bankruptcies, satisfied or unsatisfied liens, and satisfied or unsatisfied judgments.
When you apply for a credit card, personal loan or home or automobile loans a lender will pull your credit file, and an inquiry will be reported to the credit reporting agencies. An inquiry may not show on all three major credit reports, as some lenders us just one bureau to pull your history.
Making sure your credit report is accurate and verifiable is important. You should check your report at least once a year to make sure the items reporting are correct. AnnualCreditReport.com allows you to review each major credit reporting agency once a year at no cost.