Search by Credit Quality
Search by Feature
Search by Rewards
Search cards for Business
Search cards for Students
Search by Type
Search by Bank
Credit Rating
What's in a Credit Report?

A credit report contains a consumer's history of loan payments, including those for mortgages, credit cards and auto loans. It is used by lenders to judge whether to grant additional credit to consumers, and at what rate. It is not the same as a credit score, which takes the information contained in a credit report and distills it into a three-digit number. Credit scores are not included in the credit report, and must be purchased from the credit bureaus or from Fair, Isaac Corp., the company that produces the widely used FICO score.

In addition, your credit report lists any recent inquiries made about your credit history. Every time you apply for a loan or credit card and the lender requests a copy of your credit report, that inquiry is noted in your credit history. Too many recent inquiries may lead the lender to conclude that you have a pressing need for credit. This can count against you in their decision.

Who can see your Credit Report?

Anyone with a "legitimate business need" can gain access to your credit history, including:

  • Those considering granting you credit.

  • Landlords.

  • Insurance companies.

  • Employers and potential employers (but only with your consent).

  • Companies with which you have a credit account for account monitoring purposes.

  • Those considering your application for a government license or benefit if the agency is required to consider your financial status.

  • A state or local child support enforcement agency.

  • Any government agency (limited usually to your name, address, former addresses, current and former employers).

Generally, only an employer or prospective employer needs your written consent to obtain a report. An exception is Vermont where any user needs your oral or written consent. In practice, most potential creditors ask for your permission to review your report. Your permission is not required when inquiries are made in connection with a pre-approved credit offer.

Credit Card Advice Categories

Best Poor Credit Credit Card
UPside Visa® Prepaid Card
Copyright © 2008-2020 All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Credit Cards Advice | Site Map
Our Network: |