Reading Your Credit Report



What is a credit reporting agency?

Credit reporting agencies (also known as credit bureaus or consumer reporting agencies) collect information relevant to your credit and financial history. There are three credit agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. When you apply for a loan, request an increase on your credit limit or even apply for a new job, your credit report will likely come into play. The three credit agencies collect and house the information that helps potential lenders or employers rate your reliability.


Why are there three credit reporting agencies?

Credit reporting has existed for over a century, and in the early days, most communities had a local credit agency. When lenders needed a credit report, they contacted the closest credit agency. Over time, as credit reporting became automated, the local credit agencies were consolidated into the three major regional companies.

What are the differences between the credit agencies?

Each of the credit agencies offers slightly different services. For example,  not all vendors report to all three credit agencies. This means that the information on your credit report can vary from agency to agency, resulting in different scores.


This page only contains information leading to the different agencies. You will be redirected to their site for complete and accurate details.

Staying on top of your credit report is important to your financial well-being, and knowing what is in your credit report is the first step. As a consumer, you may encounter Experian credit reports in different formats where some information presented may be different. All Experian credit reports contain the information you need to assess your entire credit history and more.


This how-to guide from Equifax will take you through the process of understanding your credit report and all of its features. Equifax has created an easy-to-read sample to help familiarize you with your report.

View the Equifax Credit Report sample to learn more.

Reading A TransUnion Credit Report

Your credit report is a record of your credit activity and credit history. It includes the names of companies that have extended you credit and/or loans, as well as the credit limits and loan amounts. Your payment history is also part of this record. If you have delinquent accounts, bankruptcies, foreclosures or lawsuits, these can also be found in your credit report. Read the following to find out how does information get on my credit report and is it updated on a regular basis more information 


* was created by the credit bureaus as a one-stop-shop for providing your annual credit reports.

Federal Trade Commission Information

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued or have filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide credit reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses who use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.


Only one website is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report you are entitled to under law —


The Federal Trade Commission  site also has information on:

Please reload

This page only contains information leading to the different agencies. You will be redirected to their site for complete and accurate details.