They get a copy of your credit report. Most credit reports come from one of three credit bureaus: Experian
, or TransUnion
. The reports include:
- Your name, current and previous addresses, phone number(s), date of birth, Social Security Number, and current and previous employers.
- Every credit account you’ve opened, including the date opened, credit limit, amount owed, and whether you paid your bills on time. These accounts usually include credit cards and loans. They can also include utility bills, and purchases from rent-to-own stores.
- Information about bankruptcies, tax liens, and other public financial records.
- The names of other companies that have asked for copies of your credit report. These are called inquiries.
- Statement of dispute. These statements record disagreements between you and the credit bureau(s) about wrong, missing, or incomplete information.
The follow types of organizations have the right to look at your credit report.
- Potential lenders
- Insurance companies
- Employers and potential employers
- Landlords and potential landlords (with your written agreement)
- Groups considering your application for a license or benefit
- Child support enforcement agencies
- Any government agency
- Someone using credit reports to provide a product or service you’ve asked for
- Companies that watch your credit reports for signs of identity theft (with your written agreement)
- Anyone else that has your written agreement
Yes. Credit bureaus are required to give you a copy of your credit report for free if you’ve been affected in a negative way. This includes being turned down for credit or being forced to pay more for insurance. You should check your credit report at least once a year to make sure there are no mistakes. Find out how to order a free copy of your credit report
If you haven’t applied for a credit card, loan, rental agreement, or utilities, you may not have a credit history or credit report. Recent high school or college graduates and recent immigrants often don't have credit histories or reports.
Insurance companies want to know if you're responsible with your money. That includes paying your bills on time and managing your debt. Some debt is okay - but it's not okay if you have more debt than you can handle or pay back. Learn more about what insurance companies look for in a credit report
No. Credit bureaus give “credit scores,” numbers that rate your credit compared to other people. Each credit bureau has a different system, using numbers between 250 and 850. The higher your score, the better your credit.
Insurance companies look at credit reports and give their own scores. Each insurance company has a different system. They use scores to decide whether or not to offer you insurance and how much to charge.