A credit report is an assessment of your credit history (record of credit behavior, current debts, available finances, and returnability etc.). The report assesses these details and assigns a credit score. Your credit score is a reflection of your financial situation and performability in the credit market as a debtor. Based on your credit score, the money-lending agencies will ascertain whether and how much credit are you eligible to receive.
Your credit report is a compilation of all lot of details. The most important and notable information that appears on your report are:
Your credit report, much like your academic report cards from school, is a reflection of your performance and areas requiring extra effort but financially. Therefore, having a good credit report is very helpful when raising some money from the finance market. In addition to assessing your financial abilities, your credit report also provides your potential creditors with an insight into your financial performance to offer you the best. These are very basic but long-lasting benefits:
In addition to all these benefits, personally, a good credit score inspires confidence and makes them feel secure. Whenever needed, they can raise a good credit with fair ease and with additional benefits.
This question is very important from a consumer's viewpoint. It is because there are regulatory measures involved in answer to this question and some agencies that play a crucial role in your credit report.
Firstly, it is worth mentioning that not everyone can see your credit history; it is a personal document that contains some very intimate details. Therefore, it becomes imperative to highlight here that the viewership of your credit report is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 1970. It regulates the viewership of the credit reports and the collection, storage, usage, and distribution of consumer information by the credit bureaus and financial agencies and others interested in an individual's credit report. It empowers the consumers with several rights in respect of their credit reports. Before the coming of this legislation, the credit bureaus had the authority over the information they gathered regarding a consumer. The authority was such an expanse that it was a bureau's decision whether or not to share the credit information they have gathered of a consumer with that very consumer!
We will discuss the role of credit bureaus later ahead.
Coming to our question: who can view our credit reports, here are those who can:
By now, it is understandable that you can view your credit report above all. It is also worth mentioning that all the people mentioned above can view your credit report only upon your approval. Then, there are, of course, the Credit Bureaus, who make your credit reports.
There is another significant legislation that secures the rights of consumers to raise credit. It allows lenders to evaluate their debtors on their creditworthiness, but their credit-giving decision should only consider the financial parameters. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors, 1974 to consider the following matters related to a consumer while making or approving a credit: race, colour, national origin, sex/gender, religion, marital status, age (as long as they are eligible to enter into a contract) or their receipt of public assistance for any aspect of lending. This Act applies to all organizations that extend credits to consumers, including any subsidiaries in the decision-making. It covers various forms of credit.
Throughout this article, the term "credit bureaus" has been mentioned quite a few times. Let us look at what they are and their role in the credit reports.
Credit reporting bureaus, or sometimes known as credit reporting agencies, are private companies that deal with the creditworthiness of individuals. They assess your details and your credit history and financial record and attach a report based on the same. There is a credit score then assigned to your creditworthiness. It makes you more or less desirable in the credit market.
As mentioned earlier, they are regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. There are many credit bureaus in the US, but these three are nationally significant:
All these bureaus use the same information to assess your financial profile, but there are always some differences and delinquencies in the information they have at hand. Therefore, all three usually have different credit scores. Consequently, it is advised that you have a credit report assessed by all three whenever raising a credit.
In the present day and age, credit has become a commodity. The purchasing parity is on the rise, and there is a subsequent inflation rate. It has allowed the credit market to expand in the last few decades. Credit has become more readily available and is being offered at very expansive amounts. But, the factor of credit report and credit score has also come into play. It is your evaluation to be eligible for a credit. It can be compared to an academic report card because it provides a record of your scores to make you eligible for college admission as per their score requirement. Just as an impressive scorecard improves your chances of entering a good college, the same is the case with a credit report; it betters your credit-raising ability.
In conclusion, there are many benefits of having a healthy credit report. There are also many legislations that are very consumer-focused inapplicable to the credit market. There are many agencies employed in this market to assess your creditworthiness. But ultimately, you are, and as should be, the owner of your credit report. Make the best of it!
 Understanding the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Credit Education section, Blog posts, Experian. Accessed at: http://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/report-basics/fair-credit-reporting-act-fcra/
 Julia Kagan, Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Investopedia, (October 21, 2021). Accessed at: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/ecoa.asp