The Role of Credit Bureaus Part 2

Do you know what Information is in a Credit Report? Find out below…

Your credit report contains a few sections of different information that the credit bureau has gathered about you. In combination with their business practices, this information is used by credit providers to determine whether they will approve your credit application.

Identifying Information

This section is made up of your name, ID number, date of birth, contact information such as phone numbers and addresses (current and previous), as well as your current and previous employer information. This information will be information that is on record from previous credit applications – every time you apply for credit, your updated information gets added.

Credit Information

Here is a list of all the accounts you have with banks, retailers, credit card issuers, and other lenders. This section details where you have accounts, how long you have had them, what their balance is, whether you are in arrears, and how much your instalment is a month. This shows the credit provider what your current commitments are, and how you are managing them, which helps them to determine whether you can afford to pay back the credit facility that you are applying for.

Payment Profile Information

This indicates how well you manage and repay your debt. Your payment history is shown by a series of 24 numbers because it shows your history over 24 months. If you have paid every month that number will be 0, if you have missed a payment then it will be 1 for that month or if you’ve missed 2 it will be 2, and so on. If after missing a few payments you settle the account, the next number will be 0 again. A question mark will indicate that no information was received from the lending institute and therefore that month’s data has been rejected due to error and the credit bureau is waiting for the lender to give the right information so that it does not negatively influence your credit record.

Public Records Information

This section shows any judgements, rescindments, defaults, and notices against you – basically any legal action that has been taken caused by non-payment of credit. If you have settled any of these matters, the institution must provide the credit bureau with that information.

Recent Enquiries

This list will have the details of people who have gotten copies of your credit report within the past year (two years for employment purposes). You can see who has looked at your credit report and when – usually these are enquiries made by credit providers when you apply for credit who are checking your credit worthiness.  It is important to make sure that there are no enquiries that you are unaware of, as that could indicate that someone is trying to apply for credit fraudulently using your information.

Credit Score

Your My Credit Check credit score is based on the information from your credit report. This is an indication of your credit behaviour. Key information used includes: the length of your credit file, the types of credit you have used, your requests for credit, your payment history, and your balances and how you use credit. Where you live, your marital status, race, or gender are not used in calculating your credit score.

The higher your credit score is, the less of a risk you pose to credit providers:

It is important to remember that you have an open channel of communication with the credit bureau to ensure that all your information is correct. That is why you should take advantage of Compuscan’s free My Credit Check facility, which allows you access to all this information and the opportunity to correct any errors before you apply for credit. Knowing all this information and what you look like financially can also help you to make smarter decisions and get finance healthy!