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You are the source of great interest, and profit, of many national companies. These companies known as “consumer reporting agencies” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, gather financial and other information about you and millions of other consumers across the country. They use this information to make a profit- That’s right, they sell your information to make a buck.
Any person which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating customer credit information or other information on consumers for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties, and which uses any means or facility of interstate commerce for the purpose of preparing or furnishing consumer reports.
These consumer reporting agencies sell your information to businesses and individuals with a “legitimate” need to know something about you. Most often, these businesses are creditors that want to lend you money or otherwise provide you with credit. But, the consumer reporting agencies have many customers that are eager for your information, including prospective employers, landlords, and insurance companies .
Accounts/Trade lines: This includes credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, real estate, installment loans and revolving debt like department store cards.
The report will include information on the accounts such as the balance, payment history, terms, and account status such as whether the account was put into bankruptcy, charged off, or repossessed.
Collections are accounts that are seriously past due and have been transferred to a collection agency or creditor’s internal collection department. Collections can appear to be paid and unpaid (and, yes this makes a difference when disputing…more on this later). Any type of collection whether it is paid or unpaid it is negative.
One thing you may encounter is multiple listings on credit reports for the same debt. This happens as the debt collection agencies sell the debt to other agencies. As debt is transferred between different agencies, there may be several records on the credit report for the same debt. Only one record should be marked as open at a time on the credit report.
The public information section of the credit report includes publicly available information about legal matters affecting your client’s credit. This could include judgments in civil actions, state or federal tax liens and bankruptcies.
All court records, including satisfactions, are considered negative by all credit grantors. Because some public record information is accessible only by visiting courthouses and other government buildings in person, the credit bureaus have to send people to the courthouse to gather the records.
Every time credit is applied for, a credit report is pulled. The inquiry section of a credit report includes records of businesses that have checked your credit in the last two years.
When creditors and lenders review clients’ credit data for the purpose of an application, a hard inquiry is listed on the credit report. Too many hard inquiries can harm a credit score.
The reason being is that credit grantors get nervous that they are not managing credit “responsibly.”
Contrary to popular belief, your credit report does not contain information about your checking or savings accounts, or your race, religion, gender, political affiliation, or personal lifestyle. Your credit report also does not contain medical history or criminal records.
But, remember, your credit report is only one type of consumer report. As we’ve seen, there are specialized consumer reporting agencies that DO collect, maintain, and report some of this information.
In addition, there are companies that provide what the FCRA calls an “investigative consumer report” which it defines as:
A consumer report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information.
Fortunately, the FCRA requires that these companies notify you if they prepare an investigative consumer report about you. Although this is something to certainly worry about, let’s stay focused on credit reports for now. Just remember that credit reports and investigative consumer reports are different.
As we talked about above, some of your creditors may not report to all of the credit bureaus, and some may not report to any credit bureau. Therefore, parts of your credit accounts and history may appear in different credit reports, or not at all.
Always talk to your Credit professional before you close any Credit Cards.
Closing them Could and most likely will lower your credit score.
Need to get a copy of your credit report? You can get all 3 bureaus and all 3 scores for $1.00 .
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March 13 2017
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