What is a Credit Report?

A credit report typically contains a history of every time you have borrowed money and details any time that you may have fallen behind or defaulted on a loan. It also reveals any collection actions, bankruptcies, or judgments to which you have been a party.

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Your personal information, including your name, social security number and current and previous addresses, as well as information about the number of times you have recently applied for credit also appears on the report.

Three major bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion each sell potential lenders the information on your credit report. Lenders then use this information to determine whether they will offer credit to you, and if so, the interest rates and terms they will offer. Lenders rely heavily on the information contained in your credit reports when assessing your credit risk, but also consider a variety of other factors. See Credit Basics

Not all creditors report to the three credit reporting bureaus and your credit report is likely to be an incomplete picture of your financial history. In fact, most credit reports are inherently inaccurate in some respect. If a creditor does not report your loan information to one of the bureaus, it will not appear on your credit report unless it becomes part of the public record. The three bureaus work independently, and it is rare to see credit reports from all three showing exactly the same information. You need to review all three bureaus’ credit reports to get a complete and accurate picture of your credit.

After a bankruptcy, it is the responsibility of your creditors to notify the credit bureaus that their accounts were discharged in a bankruptcy, and the balances owed should appear as zero. However, reporting bankruptcies is not a top priority for many creditors, and you can’t be credited with eliminating your debts in a bankruptcy if the bankruptcy is not reported to the bureaus. Find out how to repair your credit

Natalie Conatser

Author: Natalie Conatser

Natalie is a finance professor who writes all about finance as a blog contributor. She is a board certified accountant and also knows a thing or two about debt and avoiding bankruptcy. Natalie plans on touring the US to speak about personal finance.

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