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             06 December, 2023

Category:  Articles » Legal » Identity-Theft


Who Has Access to My Credit Report?

         Views: 2727
2008-07-16 07:00:04     
Article by Don O'Malley

From the day you are eligible to own your first credit card, credit referencing agencies such as Experian and Trans Union start to collect information on your financial history. This information goes into making your personal credit report and is used to determine your credit score. Banks use this information to help them decide which banking products, such as loans and credit cards, will be suitable for you.

The Difference Between a Credit Score and a Credit Report

Your credit score is a number between 300 (poor) and 900 (excellent) used by banks to determine which of their products you are eligible for. This number is also called a FICO score after Fair Isaac & Co. who developed the first scoring systems in the 1950s. A credit report is far more detailed and contains information about your financial activities from around the age of eighteen. Your financial report is used by banks to determine your credit score.

What Exactly Goes into my Credit Report?

It contains detailed information about your current credit status and previous financial history. Things that will be included are:

* Any information you volunteer when filling out credit application forms, such as your current address, marital status and earnings
* Previous loans and credit history
* Your banking patterns and general financial management, known as 'white data'
* Defaults, bankruptcies and late payments, known as 'black data', including court rulings on debt matters
* Criminal convictions (in the US but not the UK)
* Publicly available data such as your electoral information

Certain things should not be included in, or effect, your credit report:

* Your medical records
* Your family's financial history
* Fines that did not result in court action

Who can Access my Credit Report?

Any business with a legitimate business interest can request to see your credit report. If a business could possibly incur a lose through a default on payments or a bankruptcy declaration, it is in their interest to check your previous credit history by requesting to see your credit report. Some examples of eligible businesses would be:

* Landlords and Rental Agencies
* Banks
* Insurance Companies
* Car Credit or Sales Agents
* Lenders
* Real Estate Companies

In addition, it can be accessed by potential employers with written consent from you. Also government bodies may check if you are applying for various licenses or benefits.

How can you access this information? Under the 2003 Fair Credit Reporting Act every US citizen is entitled to one free copy of their credit report every twelve months. You can obtain this by writing to any of the credit referencing agencies: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union and requesting it. It is not entirely free however, as they are entitled to charge an administration fee of $10.

In the UK you may request a copy of either your credit score or credit report at any time under the 1974 Consumer Credit Act. The British referencing agencies are: Experian, Equifax and Callcredit and the administration fee is £2.

Checking your Report Details and Reporting Mistakes

It is worth checking your credit report details on a regular basis. Millions of people's records are amended and processed every year so mistakes are bound to occur and these mistakes can have serious knock-out effects for your credit rating. If you spot any errors either in your personal or financial history you need to send corrections in writing to the credit agency that issues the report.

Credit agencies have 30 days in which to investigate your claim. If you have not heard from them in this time, give them a call to ask what has happened. When they make the changes they should send you a new copy of your report. Always double-check that the changes are correct.

Don O'Malley has an MBA from UCLA. Find your credit report and for more information visit http://www.applyforacreditcardnow.com/

Specialized in: Compare Best Credit Card Offers Online - Secure Applications Business Credit Card - Student Credit Card - Cash Back
URL: http://www.applyforacreditcardnow.com
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