A credit report is a summary of how you have handled credit accounts, including the types of accounts and your payment history, as well as certain other information reported to credit bureaus by your lenders and creditors. Credit reports also include certain public record information, such as bankruptcy information, and a list of businesses that have obtained your credit report within a certain time period.
Potential lenders and creditors use credit reports as part of their decision-making process to decide whether to extend you credit – and at what terms. Others, such as potential employers or landlords, may also access your credit reports to help them decide whether to offer you a job or a lease. Your credit reports may also be reviewed for insurance purposes or if you’re applying for services such as phone, utilities or a mobile phone contract.
The three credit bureaus that provide credit reports nationwide are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Your credit reports from each may not be identical, as some lenders and creditors may not report to all three. Some may report to only two, one or none at all.