Credit reports list your bill payment history, loans, current debt, and other financial information. They show where you work and live and whether you've been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy.
Credit reports help lenders decide if they'll give you credit or approve a loan. The reports also help determine what interest rate they will charge you. Employers, insurers, and rental property owners may also look at your credit report. You won't know which credit report a creditor or employer will use to check your credit.
Credit reporting agencies (CRAs) collect and maintain information for your credit reports. Each CRA manages its own records and might not have information about all your accounts. Even though there are differences between their reports, no agency is more important than the others. And the information each agency has must be accurate.
Check your credit reports regularly to make sure that your personal and financial information is accurate. It also helps to make sure nobody's opened fraudulent accounts in your name. If you find errors on your credit report, take steps to have them corrected.
Contact the CRA directly to try to resolve the issue. The CRA should tell you the reason they denied your request and explain what to do next. Often, you will only need to provide information that was missing or incorrect on your application for a free credit report.
Making sure your credit report is accurate ensures your credit score can be too. You can have multiple credit scores. The credit reporting agencies that maintain your credit reports do not calculate these scores. Instead, different companies or lenders who have their own credit scoring systems create them.
Your free annual credit report does not include your credit score, but you can get your credit score from several sources. Your credit card company may give it to you for free. You can also buy it from one of the three major credit reporting agencies. When you receive your score, you often get information on how you can improve it.
Placing a credit freeze allows you to restrict access to your credit report. This is important after a data breach or identity theft when someone could use your personal information to apply for new credit accounts. Most creditors look at your credit report before opening a new account. But if you've frozen your credit report, creditors can't access it, and probably won't approve fraudulent applications.
If you want lenders and other companies to be able to access your credit files again, you will need to lift your credit freeze permanently or temporarily. Contact each credit reporting agency. You'll use a PIN or password to lift your credit freeze. You can lift your credit freeze as often as you need to, without penalties.
The credit reporting agency (CRA) and the information provider are liable for correcting your credit report. This includes any inaccuracies or incomplete information. The responsibility to fix any errors falls under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Negative information in a credit report can include public records--tax liens, judgments, bankruptcies--that provide insight into your financial status and obligations. A credit reporting company generally can report most negative information for seven years.
Information about a lawsuit or a judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. Bankruptcies can be kept on your report for up to 10 years, and unpaid tax liens for 15 years.
Anyone who denies you credit, housing, insurance, or a job because of a credit report must give you the name, address, and telephone number of the credit reporting agency (CRA) that provided the report. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to request a free report within 60 days if a company denies you credit based on the report.
A medical history report is a summary of your medical conditions. Insurance companies use these reports to decide if they will offer you insurance. You have the right to get a copy of your report from MIB, the company that manages and owns the reporting database.
Use your medical history report to detect medical ID theft. You may have experienced medical iD theft it if there is a report in your name, but you haven't applied for insurance in the last seven years. Another sign of medical ID theft is if your report includes medical conditions that you don't have.
Most people have more than one credit report. Credit reporting companies, also known as credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies, collect and store financial data about you that is submitted to them by creditors, such as lenders, credit card companies, and other financial companies. Creditors are not required to report to every credit reporting company.
Lenders use these reports to help them decide if they will loan you money, what interest rates they will offer you. Lenders also use your credit report to determine whether you continue to meet the terms of an existing credit account. Other businesses might use your credit reports to determine whether to offer you insurance; rent a house or apartment to you; provide you with cable TV, internet, utility, or cell phone service. If you agree to let an employer look at your credit report, it may also be used to make employment decisions about you.
The Act (Title VI of the Consumer Credit Protection Act) protects information collected by consumer reporting agencies such as credit bureaus, medical information companies and tenant screening services. Information in a consumer report cannot be provided to anyone who does not have a purpose specified in the Act. Companies that provide information to consumer reporting agencies also have specific legal obligations, including the duty to investigate disputed information. In addition, users of the information for credit, insurance, or employment purposes must notify the consumer when an adverse action is taken on the basis of such reports. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act added many provisions to this Act primarily relating to record accuracy and identity theft. The Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau most of the rulemaking responsibilities added to this Act by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act and the Credit CARD Act, but the Commission retains all its enforcement authority.
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a follow-up study of credit report accuracy that found most consumers who previously reported an unresolved error on one of their three major credit reports believe that at least one piece of disputed information on their report is still inaccurate.
The congressionally mandated study is the sixth and final study on national credit report accuracy by the FTC. It follows up on a study issued by the FTC in 2012, which examined how many consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports.
The 2012 study found, among other things, that one in five consumers had an error that was corrected by a credit reporting agency (CRA) after it was disputed on at least one of their three credit reports. The study also found that about 20 percent of consumers who identified errors on one of their three major credit reports experienced an increase in their credit score that resulted in a decrease in their credit risk tier, making them more likely to be offered a lower auto loan interest rate.
The follow-up study announced today focuses on 121 consumers who had at least one unresolved dispute from the 2012 study and participated in a follow-up survey. It finds that 37 of the consumers (31 percent) stated that they now accepted the original disputed information on their reports as correct. However, 84 of these consumers (nearly 70 percent) continue to believe that at least some of the disputed information is inaccurate. Of those 84 consumers, 38 of them (45 percent) said they plan to continue their dispute, and 42 (50 percent) plan to abandon their dispute, while four consumers are undecided.
The final study also examined whether consumers from the 2012 study who had their credit reports modified after disputing information on their credit reports had any of the negative information that had been removed subsequently reappear on their reports. The study found two instances of this, representing about 1 percent of these consumers.
The final study recommends that CRAs review and improve the process they use to notify consumers about the results of dispute investigations, and that CRAs continue to explore efforts to educate consumers regarding their rights to review their credit reports and dispute inaccurate information.
The FTC has a wide range of general information for consumers on credit reporting issues, including Free Credit Reports, Disputing Errors on Credit Reports, and Your Source for a Truly Free Credit Report AnnualCreditReport.com, as well as a blog post titled It Pays to Check Your Credit Report.
It also has information available on how credit scores affect the price of credit and insurance and what consumers need to know about their credit reports when looking for a job. Finally, the FTC has a video for consumers on how to get a free credit report.
The information in your credit report can affect your buying power. It can also affect your chance to get a job, rent or buy a place to live, and buy insurance. Credit bureaus sell the information in your report to businesses that use it to decide whether to loan you money, give you credit, offer you insurance, or rent you a home. Some employers use credit reports in hiring decisions. The strength of your credit history also affects how much you will have to pay to borrow money.
Identity theft can damage your credit with unpaid bills and past-due accounts. If you think someone might be misusing your personal information, go to IdentityTheft.gov to report it and get a personalized recovery plan.
Federal law gives you the right to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus. Through December 2023, everyone in the United States also can get a free credit report each week from each of the three credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. 59ce067264