credit report

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Credit report.

A credit report is a summary of your financial history. Potential lenders will use your credit report to help them evaluate whether you are a good credit risk.

The three major credit-reporting agencies are Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. These agencies collect certain types of information about you, primarily your use of credit and information in the public record, and sell that information to qualified recipients.

As a provision of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACT Act), you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report each year from each of the credit reporting agencies.

You also have a right to see your credit report at any time if you have been turned down for a loan, an apartment, or a job because of poor credit. You may also question any information the credit reporting agency has about you and ask that errors be corrected.

If the information isn't changed following your request, you have the right to attach a comment or explanation, which must be sent out with future reports.

credit report

A history of all information on file at a credit reporting agency about a particular individual or business. By law, consumers are entitled to receive one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, but may request and pay for as many as they choose. Requesting one's own credit report does not decrease the score.You may obtain a copy of your report by going to the official Web site at or calling 1-877-322-8228. (Beware: The Web site is not the official, federally mandated Web site.)

Credit Report

A report from a credit bureau containing detailed information bearing on creditworthiness, including the individual's credit history.

Atypical credit report shows some personal information including Social Security number; current and past addresses; employment history; public record information such as liens, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and garnishments; collection accounts; and credit information. The last covers individual credit relationships and shows the creditor, the current status of each account including the amount outstanding and the maximum line if any, prior payment history, and recent activity. Acredit report also shows a list of companies that have requested the individual's file and the date the request was made.

There are three major repositories of credit information: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. The information provided by the three is not exactly the same because not all credit grantors report information to all three.

At one time, underwriters with responsibility for determining whether or not a mortgage applicant was “creditworthy” spent much of their time studying and interpreting credit reports. Increasingly, however, this judgment is being based on credit scores.

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