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Bad Credit Report

Your credit report is actually a credit history. It is created by data about you from many different sources. Companies that have granted you credit make regular reports about your accounts to the three main CRAs, also known as credit bureaus or credit repositories: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows CRAs to report records of convictions of crime. However, it is not the practice of any of the three main CRAs to report criminal convictions on credit reports. Such information may, however, be reported in connection with an employer background check, an application for automobile insurance, or an application to rent a house or apartment. Your credit report may also contain information about delinquent child support payments.

In addition, your credit report contains your name and any name variations, your address, and previous addresses, telephone number (including unlisted number), Social Security number, year and month of birth, and employment information. Information in your report also includes matters of public record such as civil judgments, tax liens and bankruptcies. Because you have the right to know who has inquired about your file and has requested your credit report over the last six months, any copy of the credit report you receive must also include the identity of all such inquiries. Inquiries related to pre-approved offers, as well as your own inquiries, are not available to credit grantors. However, they are included in credit reports that you order for yourself.

Free Credit Reports. Beginning in December 2004, consumers can get a free copy of their credit report annually. This should be your first step in trying to get clean credit.

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