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Credit Report

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 correct.

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.
  • Inquiries
    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

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