A Closer Look at Credit Reports

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A credit report contains information about your credit, some bill repayment history and the status of your credit accounts. This information includes how often you make your payments on time, how much credit you have, how much credit you have available, how much credit you are using, and whether a debt or bill collector is collecting on money you owe.

Credit reports also can contain rental repayment information if you are a property renter. It also can contain public records such as liens, judgments, and bankruptcies that provide insight into your financial status and obligations.

Lenders use these reports to help them decide if they will loan you money, what interest rates they will offer you, or to determine whether you continue to meet the terms of the account. Other kinds of companies can purchase reports to help inform them while making a wide range of business decisions such as providing or pricing insurance; renting you a residential property; providing you with cable TV, internet, utility, or telecommunication services; and (if you agree to let them look at your credit report) making employment decisions about you.