What is a credit report?

A credit report can have an impact in your life, from renting an apartment to getting a loan.

What is it?

A credit report is a summary of your credit activity and current credit situation, including payment history. Credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies collect financial information and create reports based on the data. Lenders then use the reports to decide whether to extend you credit and at what terms. Others such as landlords and mobile phone carriers may review your credit reports if you’re applying for a lease or services.

The report also determines your credit score, a three-digit number that represents your creditworthiness.

There are three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each collects information about a consumers’ financial details and habits to create a report. Though most of the data is similar, there are small differences between the three reports.

What is included?

A credit report includes the basic information such as your name, address, date of birth, and place of employment. It also details your debts, account history, credit inquiries, and public records.

It is typically divided into four sections:

  • Personal information including Social Security number.
  • Lines of credit including types of accounts, payment history, credit limits, and balances.
  • Public records including bankruptcies, judgments, and tax liens.
  • Inquiries that have recently asked to see the report such as applying for a loan.

Inquiries can be hard or soft. Hard inquiries are a result of applying for a loan, affecting your credit score. If you check your own credit report or a company extends you a pre-approved offer, that is a soft inquiry and does not affect your credit score.

Monitoring your credit report

Review the information in your credit report to make sure it is accurate. You should check from each of the major bureaus at least once a year. You are entitled to a free credit report once a year from each credit reporting agency as per the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act.

If you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft, check it more frequently. If you see some suspicious, you should report it to the credit bureau and the company that submitted the information. You can report them on the identity theft website at identitytheft.gov.

The information is this article was obtained from various sources not associated with Adirondack Bank. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. Adirondack Bank is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the information provided or the content of any third-party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. Adirondack Bank makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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