Credit Reports

How Understanding and Monitoring of Credit Report is important for getting an Online Credit Cards

What are credit reports?

What is credit report? Well it is just a report designed by credit reporting agencies, which tells about you and your credit rating. This report helps lender in making decision about your credit application.

This is your credit worthiness report card which has all the details on it for lenders to review. Each bank or financial lender relies on these credit reports to make decision on credit applications.

Each time you make big purchases, pay bills or make late payments or change jobs, everything gets reported to credit reporting agencies. Once your file is opened they start accumulating information about you.

They keep track of your personal information, professional information such as job history. All your past addresses and the loan taken from  financial institutions is recorded in report. How much you pay and how much you owe to lenders. Any negative remarks such as missed payments, any personal or business disputes are reported and documented in your credit report.

These information acts as parameters to derive your credit score. Too much credit used, missed payments and negative remarks lower your credit score. Whereas bills paid on time, high credit available, and long positive credit history elevates your credit score.

There are three credit reporting companies which keep tab on consumers and document all their history in credit reports.

Credit Reporting Agencies

How to contact credit reporting companies

  • Trans Union - Consumer Disclosure Center
  • Address: P.O. Box 1000
  • City: Chester, PA 19022
  • Trans Union Web Address
  • Contact Number: (800) 916-8800 or (800) 888-4213

  • Equifax
  • Address: P.O. Box 105873
  • City: Atlanta, GA 30348
  • Equifax Web Address
  • Phone Number: (800) 685-1111

  • Experian (formerly TRW)
  • Address: P.O. Box 2104
  • City: Allen, TX 75013-2104
  • Experian Web Address
  • Phone Number: (888) 397-3742

Credit Report Format

One thing to note about credit reports that they are regularly getting updated. Hence it is important to monitor them on a regular intervals. Some Credit report service providers give access to there online Credit reports dashboard at nominal charge. However important thing to understand is what factor influences positively or negatively your credit report.

Here is what information gets captured in the Credit Report.

Personal information: The personal information is captured when you open first time online credit account or extracted from public records.

  • First Name, Last Name,
  • Current and past addresses
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Date of Birth
  • Current and Previous employers

Length of Credit History : This includes details on all your credit, bank, utility, rental, loans or any type of credit account. The credit agency capture many details to build your credit history for monitoring, assigning credit score and or future credit decisions.

  • Type of account opened
  • Date opened
  • Credit limit
  • Balance amount
  • Credit Available
  • Payment History
  • Lenders remarks including late payments
  • Payment Terms
  • Recently opened or closed accounts

Credit Report inquires: There are two type of inquires one which you initiate once you start requesting lenders for credit. The decision of these inquires impacts your credit score and is documented in your credit history. The second type of inquires are driven by lenders, looking for potential customers whom they can offer credit deals based on there credit score. These inquires don't impact your credit score but do get captured in your credit report.

  • Service providers make inquires such as Utility, Cable, Phone companies etc.
  • Landlord or rental officials require checking past credit history.
  • Insurance (life, medical) etc.

Public records : Credit agency are regularly updating credit reports with public records drawn from various government or semi government agencies

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