Where Your Credit Comes From...
Different credit reporting companies use and obtain their information from
different sources including credit applications that you have submitted to
various vendors and service providers--from department stores to credit card
vehicle and installment loans.
The credit information that you provide on most credit applications is
compared to (and used to update) any information already on file. Further
your payment history after credit has been approved by a "subscriber"
company will most likely be reported back to the same (or all) credit reporting
companies on an ongoing basis. This establishes your "payment
Consumer Credit Reporting Companies
The big three: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion..
Chances are that some or all of your credit records (history) are listed in the
files of all three companies. It is unlikely however, that
all three credit reporting companies ("credit bureaus") have the exact same information on
you. Credit reporting companies also regularly search federal, state and county
government files for "public records." These are law suits,
judgments, tax liens, bankruptcy and other filings... that can have a substantial
impact your credit score (rating).
should know what's in their credit report
and if it's
accurate--preferably before it becomes an issue with an important, prospective
|Sometimes credit companies make mistakes|
|Sometimes credit companies accumulate inaccurate data|
|Sometimes files are not updated as often as they should be
Paying Attention Is Your Responsibility.
If your credit file contains incorrect/inaccurate data, your request for
credit may be
declined when you would otherwise have qualified for that credit..
Where To Get Your
Own Credit Report:
The three major credit reporting companies are Equifax,
Experian and TransUnion.
Some states require each credit reporting company to provide one free report
per year upon request.
Have Specific Legal Rights.
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act
(FCRA) gives you specific protections when
you have been denied credit. When the denial is based (in whole or in part) on
information contained in a credit reporting company's report, the company making
the credit decision must tell you the name and address of the credit reporting
company that provided that information.
In such cases, the credit reporting company must provide a free copy of
your credit report, provided you request the copy within 60 days of the
date you were declined.
Bureau MUST Investigate.
If you believe information on your credit report is inaccurate, the credit
bureau must investigate the item within "a reasonable time,"
generally defined as 30 days, and remove the item if it is inaccurate, or
cannot be verified as accurate.