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For Sale by Owner Articles • - Money and Credit

About Credit Reports

What's a Consumer Credit Report? 
A consumer credit report is an objective record of an individual's credit payment history. Credit grantors are permitted by law to review your credit report to objectively determine whether to grant you credit. There are 190 million credit active people in the United States who have a charge account, car loan, student loan, or home mortgage. As these people pay their bills, most lenders report credit payment history information to credit bureaus. So most of the information in your consumer credit report comes directly from the companies with which you do business. The best way to verify the accuracy of that information is to get your own report.
What does a credit report contain? 
A consumer credit report contains four types of information -- identifying information, credit information, public record information, and inquiries.
Identifying information -- includes your name, current and previous address, Social Security Number, telephone number, date of birth, and current and previous employer.
Credit history -- includes your history of paying bills with credit grantors such as retail stores, banks, finance companies, and mortgage companies.
Public records -- includes items that may affect your creditworthiness, such as tax liens, judgments, bankruptcies, etc.
Inquiries -- Lists identifying the credit grantors and other authorized parties who have received your credit report. Inquiries also contain lists of the companies that receive your name and address information for the purpose of offering you credit.
What doesn't it contain? 
Your consumer credit report does not contain information about your race, gender, national origin, religious preference, medical history, personal lifestyle, checking or savings account information, personal background, political preference or criminal record.
Accepted or rejected applications 
You have the right to know whether your application for credit was accepted or rejected within 30 days of filing it. And you have the right to know why it was rejected. The creditor must either immediately give you the specific reasons why your application was rejected or provide you with the reasons if you ask the creditor within 60 days.
Requirements for accessing credit reports 
To guard against abuse and to protect your privacy, all businesses must meet certain requirements before they are allowed to access credit information.
Where does get my credit report? supplies your credit report directly from Experian. Experian, currently, is the only credit bureau permitting immediate and secure Internet delivery of credit reports. Equifax and Trans Union might introduce a similar delivery system soon.
Is this secure? 
Yes. has passed Experian's rigorous screening system and can deliver credit reports in a secure, timely manner to consumers. Advanced systems, with firewalls, secure servers, advanced telecommunications and continuous security monitoring, make sure that your credit reports are safe. never stores your credit report and truncates all account and social security numbers when displayed on your browser. (See Security at for more information.)
The Credit Reporting System 
The modern credit reporting system helps credit grantors approve loans and credit in minutes. The system provides continuously updated information to make fast, accurate decisions dealing with almost all consumer credit transactions. The credit reporting system benefits everyone. Consumers with a credit record reflecting prompt payment find it comparatively easy to open new or expanded credit lines. The credit reporting system:
Opens new opportunities to obtain credit
Speeds credit decisions
Makes our credit-based economy possible
What creditors look for 
Creditors review credit applications primarily in relation to risk. They consider information such as your income, how long you have lived at your current address, what kinds of assets you have, the balances in your checking and savings accounts, your promptness in paying bills, how long you have been working for the same company, and how much you owe other creditors. In deciding whether to grant a loan, creditors make a judgment about the credit worthiness and potential risk of each applicant. Use our Credit Analyzer to get an idea of your own risk.
Fair Credit Reporting Act 
The Fair Credit Reporting Act, or the FCRA, protects your rights as a credit-active consumer. The law, which became effective in 1971, places limits on who may see a copy of your credit report. While you may request a copy at any time, no one else may legally review your report unless they intend to conduct a credit transaction, make an employment decision or underwrite insurance. Your credit report may also be reviewed in response to a court order or federal grand jury subpoena. Anyone who knowing and willfully obtains a credit report under false pretenses may be fined up to $5,000 and imprisoned for up to one year.

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