What is a credit report?

To understand what a credit report is, it’s important to understand what credit bureaus are. There are three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian & Equifax. Creditors may report credit-related information to one, two, all 3 bureaus or none. A credit bureau collects this kind of information, from all kinds of different sources, in one place.

Credit reports are produced by the bureaus. Each report shows the information the particular bureau producing the report has on file for that particular consumer at the time the report is generated. That information may include:

  • Personal information (g., names, addresses, date of birth)
  • Credit accounts, including date opened/closed, creditor information and payment history)
  • Credit inquiries made by creditors in connection with a credit application
  • Any public records (g., bankruptcies, liens)

Though each of the three bureaus’ reports follows a similar format, it’s critical to know that the information in each of the three reports may be different. Remember that creditors choose which bureaus, if any, they’d like to report information to. You can get a free copy of each of your 3 bureau credit reports once a year here.




Disclaimer: The information posted to this site was accurate at the time it was initially published. We do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The information contained in is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situation.