Updated: Dec 17, 2018
A credit report is a document that depicts your credit worthiness, specifically your credit history. The three national reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, work independently so it is advisable to get reports from all three for an accurate picture.
YOUR CREDIT HISTORY
The credit report contains personal, financial and public information along with recent requests. The credit report will provide personal information like your full name, frequently used nicknames and aliases, date of birth and social security number. It will also reveal your current and past addresses, present and past jobs and if applicable, information about your spouse as well.
Financial information of all your accounts with their opening date and credit limit are noted in it. These could be accounts with banks, credit card companies, power and telephone companies and such like. It will also detail your loans like mortgages, student loan and installment loans with relevant information such as: payment pattern, default in payment, debts that are less than seven years old and so on. Some records will appear permanently. These are salaries above $75,000, any credit transaction or application for a credit card or insurance beyond $150,000 and unpaid tax liens.
Information from public records particularly those with a financial angle will always appear. These are usually obtained from state and county courts. It will include convictions, arrests, charges and monetary judgments. They can appear only for seven years. However under federal law, convictions will appear indefinitely. If you have declared bankruptcy, the same will appear on your credit report for not more than ten years.
Certain records do not appear. Debt records more than seven years old and bankruptcy records more than ten years old cannot be given in a credit report. Your age, marital status and race cannot appear if a current or prospective employer asks for it. Medical records can appear only with your express permission. Any information that has been erased from the records cannot be put back again.
Thus, a credit report will help a person or organization make an informed judgment before entering into any transaction or deal with you.