How Does Information Get on Your Credit Report?

Credit bureaus collect consumer credit information in order to generate credit reports and scores. But where does that information come from? The credit reporting agencies don’t generate the information contained in your credit report – they get it from multiple sources.

Most of the information on your credit report comes directly from companies that you’ve done business with, such as lenders and creditors. These companies regularly report account-specific information like payment history, account balances, open or close dates, and inquiries to the credit bureaus. These sources provide information that can affect your credit score, such as whether you pay bills on time, have a delinquent account or had your account turned over to a collection agency.

This is also where the credit bureaus get information like your name, address and date of birth. When you fill out an application for a new account, or update your information with an existing account (like when you move), the company updates its internal records and then sends that update to the credit bureaus as well.

The government and court system are also sources of credit report information. Legal records – also known as public records – may include bankruptcies, tax liens and civil judgments. When any of these legal actions occur in relation to your personal credit, the government reports the information to the credit bureaus who then include it in your credit report.

You can also directly affect the information on your credit report. If you review your credit report and find incorrect information on it, you have the right to dispute that information and ask the credit bureau to remove it from your file. You may also request to include a statement of explanation for any negative items that appear on your report, like a late payment.

Now that you know where the information on your credit report comes from, it’s important to regularly monitor your credit. Doing so can help ensure all the information in your credit file is accurate, and can help you make more informed decisions about how you use credit.