What is a credit report?
If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, a personal loan, or insurance, there’s a file about you. This file is known as your credit report. It is full of information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or arrested, or have filed for bankruptcy. Credit reporting companies such a Experian, Equifax and Transunion sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses with a legitimate need for it.
Why are credit reports important?
Your credit reports are important because lenders, insurers, employers, and others use them to assess how you manage your financial responsibilities.
– Lenders may use your credit report information to decide whether to provide you a loan and under what terms (for example, the interest rate they will charge you).
– Insurance companies may use the information to decide whether to provide you with insurance and the rates you will pay.
– Employers may use your credit report to decide whether to hire you.
– Telephone and utility companies may use information in your credit report to decide whether to provide services to you.
– Landlords may use the information to determine whether to rent an apartment to you.
What does your credit report say about you?
A credit report is a record of your credit history that includes information about:
– Your identity; Your name, address, full or partial Social Security number, date of birth, and possibly employment information.
– Your existing credit; Information about credit that you have, such as your credit card accounts, mortgages, car loans, and student loans. It may also include the terms of your credit, how much you owe your creditors, and your history of making payments.
– Public record; Information about any court judgments against you, any tax liens against your property, or whether you have filed for bankruptcy.
– Inquiries about you; A list of companies or persons who recently requested a copy of your report.
Where do credit bureaus get their information?
Credit bureaus get information from your creditors (i.e.,companies that loan you money) such as credit card issuers and auto lenders. They also get information about you from public records, such as property or court records.
How can I get a free copy of my credit report?
You are entitled to receive ONE FREE credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting agencies by visiting, www.annualcreditreport.com or by phone,
Your credit scores are not part of your credit reports and are not provided with them unless you pay extra. A nominal fee is charged by the bureaus for each score. The information on your credit reports impact your scores, so it is important to make sure that information is accurate. Your scores are used by lenders to help them assess risk fairly because they are consistent and objective. Consumers benefit from this because no matter who you are as a person, your credit score only reflects the likelihood to repay debt responsibly.
DMCC can help!
DMCC has the ability to simulate changes to your reports. We will show you what you need to do to improve your score.
To better assist you reading your report and improving your score, contact one of our certified credit counselors by calling 866-724-3328.
DMCC is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization committed to educating consumers on financial issues and providing personal assistance to consumers who have become overextended with debt. Education is provided free of charge to consumers, as well as personal counseling to identify the best options for the repayment of their debt. To speak to a certified credit counselor, call toll-free 866-724-3328 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.