There are three credit reporting bureaus which although do similar business, may come up with varying reports. Different individuals and professionals work in the firms and then it's expected that their recommendations even on similar things is different. With this in mind, a consumer would there be better off if he considered the three reports before making any conclusions on his credit condition. Actually a review of the three reports should be done before conducting a final analysis.
A typical 3-1 credit report will retain consumer's basic information ie name, address, date of birth and employer. It also has a consumer statement and accounts histories while the public records section is a log of events such as bankruptcy and judgment filings. There is also a section with a list of creditors and their contacts.
There are two types of 3-1 credit reports; the first comes with a single score and has an advantage in that one one gets all the three reports from the three firms but the shortcoming is that the consumer ends up getting one score from one bureau. This means that if the bureau has a bias in its conclusion then the consumer will be affected and will actually end up getting the wrong idea as regards to his / her credit position. This may lead to loss of investment opportunities because most lenders will need to look at the three reports each with their scores before approving a loan.
The second type of a 3-1 credit report is very similar to the first one but in this case each report has its own scores. This means that the consumer may end up having three different scores for his / her report. Thus he / she will be in a better position to understand his credit situation. Lenders also feel more secure when dealing with a client with scores from different agencies because it means that the likelihood of a biased report is very minimal. This kind of report can also be useful to the consumer as a personal regulating tool to ensure that his credit path places on track by regularly checking the scores and analyzing his performance.