Credit Report

credit report

Credit Report for Unemployment Applicants

A credit report is a financial snapshot that provides detailed information regarding residents’ usage of available credit, the amount of debt they have accumulated and how often they pay bills on time. There are multiple variations of credit scoring and reporting, each of them serving different needs of particular lenders who may prioritize one factor rather than another. A credit score, which is calculated based on credit history, is determined by five main elements: payment history, debt usage, credit age, account types and number of inquiries on a resident’s credit. Add text here: To learn more about how credit is scored and reported in different ways, as well as how to check and understand a report, read the sections below.

What is included in a Credit Report?

Despite the fact that a credit report may be formatted and quantified differently, all reports typically, contain the same categories of information regarding a resident. Below are some of the common pieces of information that can be found in a report.

  • Personal Information includes a resident’s name, date of birth, current and past addresses, Social Security Number (SSN) and employment information are shown in a report.
  • Accounts include report displays a list of all the open credit accounts that regard a resident, as well as what type of account they are classified as such as credit card, mortgage or auto loan, for instance. This list also includes account numbers, the names of the creditors and the pending balance on each account.
  • Credit Inquiries details every time a copy of a resident’s credit report is requested by a lender, a new credit inquiry appears in the report. Thus, a credit inquiries list displays every financial institution that had voluntary authorized or involuntary unauthorized access to a resident’s report in the last two years. A high number of “voluntary” credit inquiries may significantly reduce a credit score.
  • Public Records includes information from state and county courts are collected by credit agencies that generate credit scores and reports. This type of information may include foreclosures, lawsuits, bankruptcies, liens, court judgments or wage garnishments.

All of the data displayed on a report is constantly updated to reflect any new information provided by financial institutions. However, certain loan or credit card payments may take up to 30 days to be reflected on a report.

Add section here: How to Check a Credit Report

There are three main credit bureaus in the United States, which are responsible for the vast majority of credit scores and reports being accessed by lenders and residents: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These bureaus are regulated under the federal government’s Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), but due to their extensive connections with financial institutions and credit cards issuers, chances are that a resident’s credit is already being reported by one, two or all three bureaus at any given time.

A resident may check his or her credit report at any time by signing up to gain online access to the reports generated by any of these three credit bureaus. Certain third-party companies gather different reports from multiple bureaus and can present all of those pieces of information at once to a resident. An official copy of a report may be requested every 12 months by a resident, but online access is provided by certain financial institutions on a 24/7 basis.

Who can check a credit report?

The FCRA was established to regulate credit bureaus and place restrictions on the individuals and organizations that can view a resident’s credit report. In general, individuals, businesses and institutions may only access a resident’s credit score and report after his or her consent. The people and institutions listed below are typically given access to a report after consent is given.

  • Resident: A resident has the right to access his or her credit report without affecting a credit score.
  • Lender: A credit card issuer, mortgage company or any other potential creditor can request to view the credit score and report of an applicant in order to assess his or her creditworthiness. These requests are considered “voluntary” and “hard” inquiries and may slightly affect a resident’s credit score.
  • Landlord: When entering a new lease, a landlord has the right to request access to a credit score and/or report of a potential tenant in order to properly assess his or her trustworthiness.
  • Employer: A company may take a candidate’s credit history into consideration when making hiring decisions, but this authorization has to be given by candidates through written consent.
  • Insurer: Insurance companies have the right to access a customer’s credit history and report when evaluating a new application.

Add section here: Why and When to Check Your Credit

It is important to know when and how often you should check your credit. Although the credit bureaus will provide you a free copy of your credit each year, you may need to check your credit more often. If you have suffered from identity theft, or suspect that your information is at risk, you should check your credit more often to catch any errors or fraudulent accounts. Additionally, if you are working to improve your score and have recently paid off a student loan, credit card or other account. Check your credit report 30 days after your payment to see if the payment was recorded on your credit. If not, you may need to dispute the account to have the information updated. If you are looking to get a mortgage or make another large purchase, you should check in on your credit to see if you can work on any negative points before you apply. It is important that you are aware of all your credit score factors before you visit a lender or a bank. These points will affect your ability to get a loan as well as your interest rate. When checking your score and report, note that there are third-party companies that will provide you will your report at little or no charge. If you gain a report from the credit bureau more than once a year, you will have to pay a fee.

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