Understanding Credit Reports:
A credit report is a factual record of your credit payment history
maintained by a credit bureau. It's provided to companies and individuals
by credit bureaus for purposes permitted by law, usually to grant
More than 205 million people in the United States have a credit
card, car loan, mortgage, or student loan. Almost every one of them
has a credit file. The information in your credit file is obtained
directly from the companies you have credit with, as well as from
government agencies such as the legal court systems. There are three
major credit bureaus in the United States: Experian, TransUnion,
and Equifax. Even though you are in good financial shape, there
is a possibility of identity theft or just a simple error in credit
reporting that might damage your credit file. The best way to track
changes in your credit profile is to purchase a credit monitoring
service. Usually the credit monitoring service includes a credit
report and updates for 30 days.
Your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act:
You have the right to receive a copy of your credit report. The
copy of your report must contain all of the information in your
file at the time of your request.
You have the right to know the name of anyone who received your
credit report in the last year for most purposes, or in the last
two years for employment purposes. Any company that denies your
application for credit must supply the name and address of the Credit
Reporting Agency (CRA) they contacted, provided the denial was based
on information given by the CRA.
You have the right to a free copy of your credit report when your
application for credit is denied because of information supplied
by the CRA. Your request must be made within 60 days of receiving
your denial notice.
If you contest the completeness or accuracy of information in your
report, you should file a dispute with the CRA and with the company
that furnished the information to the CRA. Both the CRA and the
furnisher of information are legally obligated to investigate your
dispute. You have a right to add a summary explanation to your credit
report if your dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction.
Credit Reporting Agencies: