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Credit Reports: What They Are, How To Get One, How To Fix It

What Is In My Credit Report?

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A credit report usually contains:

Identifying information:

  • Your name.
  • Current and previous addresses.
  • Social Security Number.
  • Telephone number.
  • Date of birth.
  • Your current and previous employer.

Your credit history: Your bill-paying history with creditors such as credit card companies, retail stores, banks, finance companies, and mortgage companies. (Not every creditor reports to the credit bureaus.)

Public records: Items that are a matter of public record which may affect your credit, such as tax liens, judgments, and bankruptcies.

Inquiries: Lists that identify the names of companies that have asked for your credit report. Inquiries also contain lists of the companies that have asked for your name and address for the purpose of offering you credit.

It is within the discretion of creditors HOW to report many items. For example, it is the credit company's option whether to report a credit payment holiday as "late payment" or "payment as agreed."

In spite of popular misconceptions, credit reports DO NOT contain the following information:

  • Medical history.
  • Bank account information.
  • Business accounts.
  • Credit scores. Lenders generate credit scores based on your credit report. The credit bureaus themselves do not devise these numbers.
  • Your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or age.

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