Your Credit Report - The Basis of Your FICO Score
Credit reporting agencies maintain files on millions of borrowers.
lenders making credit decisions buy credit reports on their prospects,
applicants and customers from the credit reporting agencies.
Your report details your credit history as it has been reported
to the credit reporting agency by lenders who have extended credit
to you. Your credit report lists what types of credit you use, the
length of time your accounts have been open, and whether you've
paid your bills on time. It tells lenders how much credit you've
used and whether you're seeking new sources of credit. It gives
lenders a broader view of your credit history than do other data
sources, such as a bank's own customer data.
Your credit report contains many pieces of informa tion that
reveal many aspects of your borrowing activities. The ability to
quickly, fairly and consistently consider all this information,
including the relation ships between different types of information,
is what makes credit scoring so useful.
CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT
You should review your credit report from each credit reporting
agency at least once a year and especially before making a large
purchase, such as a house or car. By September 1, 2005, people in
all 50 states will have the right to obtain one free copy of their
credit report a year from each of the three major credit reporting
agencies. For more information, contact the Annual Credit Report
Request Service at:
P.O. Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348"5281
1 877 FACT ACT (1 877 3228228) www.annualcreditreport.com
You can buy additional copies of your credit reports from www.myF1CO.com.
If you find an error, the credit reporting agency must investigate
and respond to you within 30 days. If you are in the process of
applying for a loan, immediately notify your lender of any incorrect
information in your report.
WHAT'S IN YOUR CREDIT REPORT?
Although each credit reporting agency formats and reports this
information differently, all credit reports contain basically the
same categories of information.
- PERSONAL INFORMATION
Your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and
employment information are used to identify you. These factors
are not used in credit bureau scoring. Updates to this information
come from information you supply to lenders.
These are your credit accounts. Lenders report on each account
you have established with them. They report the type of account
(bankcard, auto loan, mortgage, etc.), the date you opened the
account, your credit limit or loan amount, the account balance
and your payment history.
When you apply for a loan, you authorize your lender to ask for
a copy of your credit report. This is how inquiries appear on
your credit report. The inquiries section contains a list of lenders
who accessed your credit report within the last two years. The
report you see lists "voluntary" inquiries, spurred
by your own requests for credit, and may also list "involuntary"
inquires, such as when lenders order your report before making
you a preapproved credit offer in the mail. See page 15 for more
information on inquiries.
- NEGATIVE ITEMS
Lenders report delinquency information when you have missed a
payment. Credit reporting agencies also collect information on
overdue debt from collection agencies, and public record information
from state and county courts. Public record information includes:
bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, garnishments, legal suits
Frequently Asked Questions
How can mistakes get on my credit report?
If your credit report contains errors, it is often because the
report is incomplete, or conta'ins information about someone else,
This typically happens because:
- You applied for credit under different names
(Mary Jones, Mary Jones-Smith, etc)
- Someone made a clerical error in reading or entering name or
address information from a hand written application.
- You gave an inaccurate Social Security number, or the number
was misread by the lender.
- Loan or credit card information was inadvertently applied to
the wrong account.