What is a Credit Report?
A credit report contains information about you and your credit history. This information is gathered on an ongoing basis from many sources that have extended you credit. Each report contains four main types of data. Personal information, credit history, inquiries, and public records.
What personal information is included in my credit report?
Your name ~ You may have several versions of your name, such as your maiden name if married
Social Security number ~ You should only have one
Recent and current addresses ~ Should not date back more than seven years (approximately)
Date of Birth ~ Should be accurate
Personal information such as your checking or savings accounts, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, medical history, gender, criminal records, bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old are NOT included in your credit report.
What credit/account information is included in my credit report?
The bulk of your credit report consists of the details about credit accounts that were opened in your name or that list you as an authorized user.
- Do you have a charge card? ~ If so, your account will appear on your credit report.
- Have you ever taken out a loan to buy a car? ~ This will appear on your credit report.
- Do you rent or own your home? ~ This will appear on your credit report.
- Do you have a job?~ This will appear on your credit report.
- Do you have school loans? ~ They will appear on your credit report.
Your accounts may be grouped together by type such as installment, mortgage, revolving credit or by status such as satisfactory or unsatisfactory. When you personally review your credit report, which you should be doing if you have credit established, you should verify that all accounts listed actually belong to you and the account information is correct.
Once you establish a line of credit, a report begins to form with information regarding your credit history. Lenders, employers, landlords, banks and other service providers will buy this information in the form of a credit report to help them decide if they should approve your application for a loan, credit card, job or housing.
Can anyone look at my credit report?
No! You have to have what is considered "a permissible purpose" to look at your report. Generally, they are people, companies, schools that you have applied or showed an interest in. Included are:
- Potential Lenders
- Insurance Companies
- Credit Card Companies
Usually, you have to give written consent for these places/people to view your credit report. Once someone inquires about your account, it will appear on your report. Credit reporting agencies record this inquiriy whenever your credit report is shown to another party.
What shows up under the "public records" section of my credit report?
- Overdue child support
- Tax liens
Most public record information will stay on your credit report for 7 years. If there is anything that is not accurately listed you must act immediately to have them removed.
How can I find out what is on my credit report?
There are many companies available that offer their services to help you obtain your credit report, for a small fee, of course. The best place to start is www.FreeCreditReport.com. Here they will be asked to enroll for free for a seven day trial. You can choose not to continue their services for seven days or to continue the service for a monthly fee. It is a wonderful way to monitor your credit report. It is entirely up to you should you decide to receive monthly updates.
If you have any questions or concerns and are not sure how to find out, ask your real estate agent who they recommend you contact for additional help. Or simply call your Ferrari-Lund agent, me, and I will always be happy to assist you!
Authored by Terrie Leighton. January 2009. Terrie is a licensed Real Estate Agent with Ferrari-Lund Real Estate in Northern Nevada. The information in this post is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed.
Your Home. My Priority. Since 2003
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Cell ~ 775.846.5424
Email ~ Terrie@terrieleighton.com