What is a credit report?
A credit report contains information about your credit, bill repayment history and the status of your credit accounts. This information includes how often you make your payments on time, how much credit you have, how much credit you have available, how much credit you are using and whether a debt or bill collector is collecting on money you owe. Make sure you review your credit report to ensure that the information is accurate. If there are any discrepancies contact the credit reporting agency that provided the report containing the error.
Who collects and reports credit information?
There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion that gather and maintain information about you that is included in your credit report. The credit bureaus provide this information to companies or persons that request it, in the form of a credit report.
Where do credit bureaus get their information?
Credit bureaus get information from your creditors, such as banks, credit card issuers or auto finance companies. They also gather information about you from public records. Information in one credit bureau's report may be different from the information in another credit bureau's report because each credit bureau gets its information from different sources.
How long does information remain on your credit report?
Positive information remains on your credit report indefinitely. Negative information remains on your credit report between seven and 10 years. Credit inquiries remain on your credit report for up to two years. When you apply for credit, you authorize lenders to ask or "inquire" for a copy of your credit report from a credit bureau.
Who is allowed to see my credit report?
Credit bureaus can provide credit reports only to: lenders from whom you are seeking credit, lenders that have granted you credit, phone and utility companies that may provide services to you, your employer (only if you agree), insurance companies, government agencies and anyone else with a legitimate business need for the information (e.g. landlords or banks).
Where to obtain a free credit report?