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Credit Report – What is it?

Your credit report contains identifying information such as your name, address, birth date and social security number, along with information as to how you have paid your debts. The report also includes matters of public record such as civil judgments, tax liens and bankruptcies.

Credit reports are created and maintained not by any governmental entity, but rather by private companies known as credit reporting agencies (or credit bureaus). There are three nationwide credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.

Credit reporting agencies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment or renting a home.

Because you have the right to know who has inquired about your credit file or has requested your report, any copy of the report you receive must also include the identity of all such recent inquiries.

Businesses generally do not need your permission to get your credit report if you have applied for credit or insurance. A credit report cannot be given to a prospective employer without your written consent.