What is a credit report?
Credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion collect information about your financial activity, employment history, etc. from banks, financial institutions and other sources, and create a report which is called a credit report. It is essentially a report card on how you manage your finances.
What does a credit report contain?
Your credit report contains your personal information, including your Social Security number, detailed information on your existing debt like credit cards and mortgages, public records like bankruptcies and debt collections, and a list of entities like corporations and banks that have asked to see your credit report recently.
How many credit reports do I have?
Each of the 3 credit bureaus creates its own credit report, so you typically have 3 credit reports. Most of the information is likely to be similar in these 3 reports, but there could be some small differences.
What do I have to do for creating a credit report? Do I have to pay anything?
No, the 3 credit bureaus create your credit report on their own – you do not have to do or pay anything. However, you may need to pay the credit bureaus a fee if you want to check your own credit report, especially if you do it more than once a year.
Why is a credit report important?
When you apply for loan, rent a house or apply for a job, the bank, landlord or employer usually accesses your credit report to check your creditworthiness. A good credit report helps you get credit cards and loans at a lower rate.
Checking a credit report and understanding it to maintain a good credit history seems difficult.
No, it is not difficult! But to make it even simpler, you can just look at your credit score. But that’s a topic for another time…