Equifax

Finance Blog

How Can Public Records Affect My Credit Score?

Written by Equifax Experts on July 14, 2014 in Credit  |   1 comment

When you pull a copy of your credit report, you may expect to find information about your credit accounts and payment history. But if you have any public records in your name, those may also be listed in your credit report, and could have a…

how-do-public-records-affect-my-credit-score

When you pull a copy of your credit report, you may expect to find information about your credit accounts and payment history. But if you have any public records in your name, those may also be listed in your credit report, and could have a significant impact on your credit score and your ability to qualify for credit at the most competitive rates.

What is a public record?

Public records are legal documents that are on file with federal and local governments and that the public typically can access. Adverse public records that could be listed in your credit report include:

Bankruptcies. A bankruptcy is a legal proceeding in which a consumer is discharged of all—or in some cases only a portion—of his or her unsecured debt. Tax liens. A tax lien is filed against a consumer if he or she fails to pay taxes. Judgments. If a consumer loses a lawsuit in court, a judgment is the resulting debt that is owed.

In addition to compiling information about your credit behavior collected from creditors—including banks, credit card issuers, and mortgage lenders—credit reporting agencies (CRAs) also purchase public record information from public record providers. That’s how this type of...

Stay Informed Sign up for our FREE Equifax email Newsletter

Credit Archive