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Basic information about credit report that you should know

By Janet Lacey
Published: Monday, October 12th, 2009

If you have any time used a card or have a mortgage, you are using credit. Credit is, in simple terms, when you use some one else’s money to buy goods and services. You make a guarantee assuring payments back in pre decided instalments. These payments have to be on time and regular. Every time you request a credit from a creditor, they run a back ground check on your financial information. This credit could be anything ranging from a credit card to a mortgage to a loan or even a student loan. All the information a creditor would need is found on a credit report. A credit report is a document with all of your past credits and details regarding it. Credit bureaus maintain this information. Therefore, a creditor has to just request one such form from them to run a check on your background. There are three main credit bureaus or agencies in the United States. These are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. A credit report has a lot of information.

It includes your basic identifying information. This would be your name, driver’s license, social security number, any addresses you might have lived in or are living in. It will also have details about your employment. Any credits or loan histories you might have had will also be present on the credit report. A credit report will also contain information regarding any inquiries made into your report. It will also have an account of collection records or public records. Bankruptcy and tax liens would come under public records.

Credit reports are filled with various codes. Most of these codes make sense only to creditors and the agency people. The consumer credit report, which you order, will be written out in much plainer terms. All creditors such as credit card companies or loan companies and banks send information in a regular manner to these credit agencies. They usually send in information once a month. Thus your credit report gets updated regularly. Some other offices sending in information would be courts, tax agencies and post offices.

Every item on the credit report stays only as long as it has to. Your identifying information stays as long as it is relevant and accurate. Most of the information regarding your finances stays usually for around seven years. However, different entries have different terms of expiration on your credit report. Bankruptcy announcements stay on your credit report for a period of ten years if it has been filed under Chapter 7. Chapter 13 filings stay for only seven years. A charge off is when a creditor stops pressing for payment. A charge off is used when the creditor has decided to “throw in the towel” or give up. A charge off would stay on your account for seven years. Closed accounts might show up too. Any closed account that has been paid late will show up on your account for seven years. However, an account closed properly will not appear. A collection would stay on your account for seven years from the date the last payment was made on the original account.

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