Your credit report is a compilation of information about the way you handle debt. It includes information about how much debt you’ve accumulated, how you pay your bills, where you live, where you work, whether you’ve filed bankruptcy, and whether you’ve had a home foreclosed or vehicle repossessed. If it sounds like your credit report contains a lot of information, that’s because it does.
How Does Information Get On Your Credit Report?
Credit reports are maintained by businesses known as credit bureaus or credit reporting agencies. In the United States, there are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Companies that you do business with have agreed to send your debt information to credit bureaus (at least one of them or maybe all three) who then update that information in your credit report. Most of your credit card and loan accounts are updated on your credit report monthly.
Some businesses don’t update your credit report with your monthly payments, but will notify the credit bureaus when you become seriously delinquent on your payments. For example, your cable bill isn’t automatically included in your credit report, but if you fall more than six months behind on your payments, the bill might be listed on your credit report as a debt collection.