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Frequently Asked Questions

Your Credit Report - The Basis of Your Score

Credit reporting agencies maintain files on millions of borrowers. Lenders making credit decisions buy credit reports on their prospects, applicants and customers from the credit reporting agencies.

Your report details your credit history as it has been reported to the credit reporting agency by lenders who have extended credit to you. Your credit report lists what types of credit you use, the length of time your accounts have been open, and whether you’ve paid your bills on time. It tells lenders how much credit you’ve used and whether you’re seeking new sources of credit. It gives lenders a broader view of your credit history than do other data sources, such as a bank’s own customer data.

Your credit report reveals many aspects of your borrowing activities. All pieces of information should be considered in relationship to other pieces of information. The ability to quickly, fairly and consistently consider all this information is what makes credit scoring so useful.


You should review your credit report from each credit reporting agency at least once a year and especially before making a large purchase, like a house or car. To request a copy, contact the credit reporting agencies directly:

  • Equifax: (800) 685-1111, www.equifax.com
  • Experian (formerly TRW): (888) 397-3742,
  • TransUnion: (800) 888-4213, www.transunion.com
    If you find an error, the credit reporting agency must
    investigate and respond to you within 30 days. If you
    are in the process of applying for a loan, immediately
    notify your lender of any incorrect information in
    your report.

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