Ever wonder how the information about your identity and financial history ends up on your credit report? It can be an incredibly detailed report-where does all that information come from?
The credit-reporting agencies aren’t watching over your shoulder, having a private eye get the dirt on you, or paying anyone for your records.
Your credit report contains information from the companies that have granted you credit in the past and those with whom you have open accounts. Credit-reporting agencies get their information from retailers, credit card companies, lenders, banks, collection agencies, and public records.
When you enter into an agreement with a creditor, the information you provide them is included on your credit report as a reflection of that agreement.
Most contracts are going to include the basic requirements of your payment terms. If you fulfill the terms of your payment agreement, that will be reflected on your credit report. If you don’t live up to your end of the deal and you make late payments or no payments at all, your creditors are going to voluntarily report this information to the CRA’s, and this information will show up on your credit report.
The credit reporting system works because it streamlines the interaction between consumers and creditors, because by and large everyone works together. The creditors want to provide accurate information to the credit-reporting agencies because it makes their decision-making process easier (e.g. instant credit offers).
One of the complaints we hear from consumers is that different information appears on credit reports from each of the three credit-reporting agencies. This can happen because not all creditors report to all three credit reporting agencies. While the majority do report to all three, some creditors report to only one of the three agencies, while others may not report to any at all.
What if the missing information is a positive account that you want to show up on all of the reports and you personally want to report it to the CRA’s? Unfortunately, data is carefully regulated, and there are industry reporting standards, so self-reporting isn’t allowed.
If you check your credit report and find a mistake, you can file a dispute with the credit reporting agency that lists the error.
Read more here on how to file a dispute and other credit topics.
How To Dispute Credit Report Errors
Four Things College Kids Need To Know About Credit
Four Myths About Your Credit History
Debt Reduction: Why Paying Down Your Credit Card Debt Helps Your Credit Score
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