Credit reports are documents provided by major credit reporting companies (most notably Experian, Trans Union and Equifax) which contain personal information about individuals such as: how much money the individual has borrowed, how much debt is owed by the individual and the individual's bill payment history.
The credit reporting agencies do not share information with each other, and lenders do not subscribe to each service. An individual's information with each service may vary in completeness and detail. Common details on a credit report include payment history for loans, credit cards, accounts with major retailers, tax liens, student loans and child support (if in default).
Other common banking information which may only appear if an individual defaults on their loan or it is sent to a collection agency can include: utility bills (water, telephone, gas), legal bills, medical bills and lease payments.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) regulates the activities of credit reporting agencies and requires them to investigate consumer disputes, report information fairly and accurately and make all necessary corrections in a timely manner. Companies are not required to send payment history information to credit agencies. Individuals who are purchasing a new home or automobile should review their credit reports.
It is also a good idea to periodically review credit reports to ensure personal information is accurate. Credit report repair can take up to 6 months to complete. Bankruptcy filings can remain on an individual's credit report for up to 10 years. Negative late payment information, Liens or judgments must be removed after 7 years.
More Help on Credit Report
- Credit Counseling - The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 required individuals to take a government approved credit counseling course 180 days prior to filing bankruptcy. - read more
- Lien - A Lien puts a hold on real or personal property and allows the property to be held as collateral for debt payments or services which are owed to another lender. - read more