Credit Agencies Have Info on you

Are You on File With the Reporting Agencies?
You need to know there is a file on you, listing all your personal financial and credit information. This is held by the various credit reporting agencies. If you have ever had a bank account, credit card or obtained a car loan, the chances are you will be on the files of one or more of the various credit reporting agencies in the country.

These agencies (also known as credit bureaus) compile and sell your credit information to other parties. These credit agencies are responsible for making sure your credit history is accurate and are obliged to give the information they hold for the use of various types of businesses.

These include:

  • People you owe money to.
  • Insurance companies.
  • Landlords
  • Potential employers.
  • Banks
  • Lending institutions.
  • Companies, etc.

If you've ever taken out a loan or had a credit card, you will have a credit report. The important thing is to make sure that the information and financial history these companies hold on you is correct. If not, you should take steps to make the corrections.

Where do Credit Agencies Get Their Information?
The credit agencies get their information from banks, lending institutions, mortgage companies, court records, newspapers, company records, and various other databases. They also collect information from merchants, lenders, landlords, etc. and they sell the compiled reports to business houses and others who lend money.

Based on the information received from the agencies, a potential lender will make a decision on whether to grant you a loan or not. These records are retained by the credit agencies for a long time and can hold a surprising amount of information.

If you have a bad credit record with a particular company you have dealt with in the past, future business with them will be affected. However, if the information is taken by credit agencies, you will effectively be blacklisted with any other company that may go to the credit agency for information about your credit standing.

What do Credit company Files Contain about You?
A credit company file will include the following records:

  • Your name, address, date of birth, gender, marital status, past addresses, previous names, employer and occupation.
  • All applications for credit cards, hire purchases, or any other type of loan.
  • Details of credit accounts.
  • Details of credit card information.
  • Whether you are a director of a company, including the details of companies you own.
  • Whether you are bankrupt or have had bankruptcy proceedings against you.
  • Any findings against you from a tenancy tribunal.
  • All bills you have not paid or defaulted on.
  • Any collection action against you undertaken by any company.
  • Any court debts you owe.
  • Details of loss or stolen IDs you have reported.

What Information Don't They Hold?

In general, the credit agencies will not hold the following:

  • The balances of your bank account.
  • Your religion.
  • Your race.
  • The state of your health.
  • Any criminal records about you.
  • The amount of income that you derive.
  • Any driving infringements, etc.

Who Can Access Your File?
The details in your file are not available to everyone who requests it. Only companies that have had your permission will be given access. This permission is usually given at the time you sign up for a loan or for hire purchase, or some other financing.

Certain government agencies have the legal right to look at your file without your permission, but these are under circumstances allowed under the Privacy Laws.

The details on your file will stay there until they have to be wiped.

Your file will also show the list of credit enquiries made by other companies. This can weigh against you because the number of enquiries will show that it has not been easy for you to get credit.

Unfortunately, details on your file contain only negative information about you. If you have been a good payer and have kept your finances in good order in the past, this information is not available on your file.