What Does Your Credit Report Say About You?

What Does Your Credit
Report Say About You?

 

In the 1970s, the Fair
Credit Reporting Act played an important role in shaping the credit reporting agencies,
as we know them today.  They focus their
reports on verifiable credit information – both positive and negative
information about a consumer’s ability to pay their debts on time on a
consistent basis.

What Does Your Report Contain?

 

Personal Information:  Compiled
from credit applications that you have filled out.  (name, address- past and current, Social
Security number, date of birth, current and previous employers).

Credit History:  details about the accounts that
are in your name or that list you as an authorized user are included in the
report.  In addition, details such as
date accounts were opened, credit limit, payment terms, balance and payment
history are included.  Closed or inactive
accounts may stay on your report for 7-10 years from the date of their last
activity, depending on whether the account was paid on time or not.

Inquiries:  each time a lender, landlord, insurer, or
service provider views your credit file, the credit reporting agencies record
that inquiry.  Inquiries remain on your
credit report for two years.

Public records:  liens, bankruptcies, overdue
child support, judgments, garnishments, and foreclosures are considered public
records.  Most public record information
stays on your credit report for 7 years.

What Information is NOT on your credit
report?

Your credit report does not
contain information about your checking or savings accounts, bankruptcies that
are more than 10 years old, charged-off or debts placed for collection that are
more than 7 years old, gender, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation,
medical history or criminal record.  Your
credit score is generated by information contained in the credit report, but is
not part of the report itself.

Who Can Look At Your Credit Report?

 

Potential lenders,
landlords, insurance companies, employers, or potential employers (with your
consent), companies that you allow to monitor your accounts for identity theft,
state or local child support enforcement agencies, any government agency or
someone that has your written authorization to obtain your credit report.  The credit-reporting agency must determine
that the person or company viewing your report has a permissible purpose to do
so.

What If I Discover An Error On My
Credit Report?

You have a right to dispute
any information that is in your report.  You
will find the directions for disputing information on your credit report on the
internet or they will be part of your report when you order your free copy at www.annualcreditreport.com.  You can also call 877-322-8228 or write to Box 105281, Atlanta,
GA 30348.

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