Credit Reports

What is a Credit Report?

What is a Credit Report?

A credit report is not the same thing that you get when you ask for your "credit report" directly from the credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion or through AnnualCreditReport.com. That document that you get when you go directly to a consumer reporting agency is a document known in the credit reporting industry as a consumer disclosure. The purpose of a consumer disclosure is to comply with the federal law which requires the credit reporting agencies to disclose the contents of your credit file to you when you ask for it. Nor is a credit report something that currently exists at this very moment. Unless it just so happens that right now you are applying for credit, you don't have a credit report. A credit report is something that is created at the moment it is asked for. 

At its most basic level, a credit report is simply a report that is...

Credit Files & Credit Reports

Credit Files & Credit Reports

The term "credit file" is often used interchangeably with "credit report", but in the credit reporting industry these terms are distinctly different.  A credit file is a bit of raw data contained within a database. At any given time, the national consumer reporting agencies maintain hundreds of millions of consumer credit files in their databases. According to some estimates these files relate to approximately 250 million credit active consumers across the United States. This means that many consumers have more than one credit file in a consumer reporting agency's system.

A "credit report" is something that does not currently exist. A credit report is created at the moment that it is asked for. Your credit report might look different today than it will a month from now, and most certainly will look different than it did three months ago. ...

How Long Will a Withdrawn or Dismissed Bankruptcy Stay on Your Credit Report?

A bankruptcy can end in a number of ways prior to discharge; for example, a bankruptcy can be subsequently withdrawn at the request of the debtor or dismissed by the court for a variety of reasons. There are several reasons a debtor may file bankruptcy just as there are several reasons why a debtor may decide to seek withdrawal of that bankruptcy.  Because bankruptcy filings are public record those filings will eventually be picked up by the third party public information vendors which consumer reporting agencies use to collect public record information or directly by the consumer reporting agencies through the electronic PACER court reporting service.

Federal law requires that consumer reporting agencies that choose to report a bankruptcy must also report the type of bankruptcy filed (e.g. Chapter 7, Chapter 13, etc.) and, in the case of a withdrawn bankruptcy, that the bankruptcy has been withdrawn.  The current practice of the consumer reporting agencies is to report a bankruptcy, including a withdrawn or dismissed bankruptcy, on a debtor’s credit report for up to 10 years.