Credit reports are made to maintain the financial conditions of a citizen. They include loans, major purchases and other accounts. They give an accurate account of the person to financial institutions. Three major agencies – Equifax, Trans-Union and Experian – store this assimilated information together with other affiliate agencies regardless of whether a credit report is local or online.
As per a new law passed in 2003 by the US Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), all three above mentioned agencies must provide free copies to the individuals through online sites, by mail or phone as per individual request. The report can be got from the Internet for a nominal fee. However, it must be preserved by the person for future reference. The FCRA also guarantees this information for free to every citizen with a view of providing financial protection to both the entity and financial organization.
A credit report is essential as companies, businesses and other financial groups must be able to do a thorough check of a citizen's financial background before lending large sums of money, for creating new accounts for either personal or business needs. Such reports are made mandatory by some establishments and employers insist on having them before hiring prospective candidates to throw light on discrepancies. An assessed report is essential for federal employees to know where they stand if they want to get a mortgage or for a security clearance purpose.
The FCRA further guarantees protection for citizens from errors and offers them an opportunity to rectify easily these errors with the relevant agencies. At the same time a citizen must also take pains to rectify any differences found in the reports. It happens mostly when there are blunders in different records obtained or submitted by different agencies. In such cases it is the best to deal with the respective agencies in writing.
Financial history reports generally have more to reveal than payment history. Free credit report government agencies are allowed to include law suits, tax liens, legal judgments as well as personal information obtained from other financial records, such as a Social Security Number, Routing Number, and charge card open balances along with employer details, spouse income or any other matter pertinent to the case.