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A credit report is a record of a person’s history of borrowing and repaying. The credit report includes late payments and bankruptcy and a credit score used by institutions to determine your “creditworthiness.” In the United States, when an individual, or business, fills out a credit application from a bank, credit card company or store, their information is sent to a credit bureau. The credit bureau then matches the name, address, Social Security number and any other identifying information on the application with information retained in their files. A history of the person’s credit is then sent to the inquiring institution or credit card company. One of the most important factors in the credit report is how timely payments have been made to other lenders, who obviously like to see debts paid on a timely (monthly) basis. The other most important factor in determining whether a lender will issue a loan or credit card is income. The higher the income, the more credit the consumer can access. It’s important to make sure the credit bureaus have the correct information, therefore it’s a good idea to occasionally request a copy of your report for accuracy. If you have a dispute about something that appears on your credit report, you must contact the bureau in writing. It is reported that over 70 percent of these disputes are resolved within 14 days.

In the United States, there are three major credit bureaus:

P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013

P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022


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