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What is a Credit Report?

Credit reports come up in almost any serious conversation about personal finance and many companies now offer access to this information on a limited free or monthly subscription basis. But what is a credit report, where does the information on it come from, and how does someone get yours?

Credit Reporting Agencies

In the United States, there are three main credit reporting agencies that maintain credit reports on consumers. These agencies are:

Equifax

Equifax Information Services LLC

P.O. Box 740256

Atlanta, GA 30374-0256

https://www.equifax.com/personal/

Transunion

P.O. Box 2000

Chester, PA 19016

https://www.transunion.com/

Experian

P.O. Box 4500

Allen, TX 75013

https://www.experian.com/

Creditors and debt collectors can report your account information to these agencies, who then compile and maintain your credit report.

Information Contained on Your Credit Report

Your credit report contains basic information about you such as your full name, address, social security number, and current employer. It may also contain previous names or aliases that you have used. Your debts are then listed on your report showing that the creditor or debt collector is, when the account was opened or placed for collection, whether the account is still open or has been closed, how much you currently owe, and the highest amount you have ever owed or the highest amount of credit that has even been extended to you.  A graphic is then provided showing each month a payment was due and whether it was made on time or was 30, 60, or 90 days past due when it was paid. The credit reporting agency receives this information from the creditor or debt collector and then adds it to your report.

Do All Creditors Report Information to Credit Reporting Agencies?

Not all creditors report your account information to the credit reporting agencies, and some may only report it to one or two of the agencies. Companies who may not report any information to credit reporting agencies include:

  • Utility companies
  • Professional service companies such as accountants, attorneys, plumbers, and electricians
  • Small local business who extend you credit
  • Insurance companies
  • Landlords

Those who you can pretty much count on reporting your account information to the credit reporting agencies include:

  • Credit card companies
  • Large cell phone and land line companies, such as Verizon, Sprint, and AT & T
  • Mortgage companies
  • Medical service providers
  • Banks and other loan institutions

How Can Someone Get My Credit Report?

Each of the credit reporting agencies make your credit report available to companies who you authorize to view the report. Companies who may ask for authorization to see your report include banks, mortgage and loan companies, landlords, credit card companies, potential employers and any other company or agency from whom you are attempting to gain employment or receive credit or a loan.

If you are experiencing problems with your credit report, such as inaccurate information from a creditor or debt collector, feel free to contact our office at 1-800-219-3577, for a free, no obligation consultation. 

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