Each time you apply for credit, open an account with the gas, telephone or electric company, or secure a loan, the transaction is recorded on your credit report. Lenders, landlords, insurers, utility companies, banks and other credit grantors then use the information provided in these reports to make decisions about their business relationships with you. However, negative transactions can have far reaching implications and victims of identity theft often find themselves suffering severe consequences due to the recklessness of others.Today, there are three major credit bureaus - TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax - all of which maintain your credit report, the accuracy and reliability of which are crucial to a healthy marketplace. In addition to collecting credit information, the three major credit bureaus also distribute that information to the appropriate institutions. When you apply for a loan, the lender makes an inquiry to one or more of the three major credit bureaus to receive your credit history information. The lender then uses this information, along with your income and other factors, to make a decision.A credit report is a type of consumer report that contains information about where you work and live and how you pay your bills. It also may show whether you have been sued or arrested or have filed for bankruptcy. Credit bureaus compile and sell your credit report to businesses. Because businesses use this information to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, and other purposes allowed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), it is important that the information in your report is complete and accurate.A credit report may contain any of the following information about you:
A credit report does not contain:
You have the right to get a free copy of your credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months, from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Annual Credit Report Request Service (a service of the three credit reporting agencies) P.O. Box 105283 Atlanta, GA 30348-5283 877-322-8228Or contact each agency individually:Equifax P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30347 800-685-1111Experian P.O. Box 2002 Allen, TX 75013 888-397-3742Trans Union P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19022 800-916-8800
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