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Credit Report

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    A credit report detailed history of an individual's credit worthiness. This is used by lenders to gauge a potential borrower's ability to repay a loan.


    Credit reports are a lengthy description and history of your track record for borrowing and repaying money to banks, credit card companies and other lenders.  Companies that wish to lend you money use credit reports when they are deciding if they will allow you to borrow money.  The information in the credit report also helps these lenders determine the interest rate to charge you for the funds you borrowed.


    What is in a Credit Report?


    Credit reports, which are produced by credit bureaus, generally include:

    • Personal information such as your addresses, both current as well as past, your Social Security number and your previous employers
    • Account information detail, such as your payment history
    • Specific information about any accounts that may have been sent to debt collection or otherwise had collection action taken against them
    • Any lender inquiries made by lenders or other companies that are examining your credit, normally because that lender is considering lending you credit
    • The number of accounts and what each type of account is, and if you are listed as being in good standing with each account
    • Your specific payment history for each account, including if the account is in good standing, closed or otherwise had action taken on it

    You can receive a free copy of your credit report once a year from This central site allows you to request a free 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.

    Beware of "imposter sites" that promise free credit reports but then attempt to sell you credit monitoring or repair services.

    By Diane Tuman

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    • Last edited October 12 2012
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