A credit report lists information about your financial activities. If you apply for a loan, insurance or a credit card, the information will be lodged with the Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). CRA's (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) store the files on a huge database, which is kept private unless potential creditors, landlords or employers require the information to ascertain your suitability for credit.
Your credit file contains your name, date of birth, address, previous addresses, Social Security number, employment history, any known aliases and the same information about your spouse.
Your credit report lists any accounts you have with banks, credit card issuers, store cards, any loans you have taken and the dates when the accounts were opened. Related payment information is held with the CRAs so that potential creditors can see if you are at risk of failing to make payments. The credit file also contains utility billing information.
Recent inquiries made by creditors who have asked for your credit report remain on file for a year. Inquiries relating to employment history remain for two years.
Public Record Information
Any information which requires public recording is held on your credit file. This includes bankruptcies, tax liens and foreclosures. Some agencies also list monetary and non-monetary judgments.
Jo Walmsley-Lockhart began writing professionally in 2010, with work appearing on eHow. She also teaches English, drama and literature. Jo Walmsley-Lockhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Teesside University and a postgraduate certificate in English education from Durham University.