Diana L. Taylor, Superintendent of Banks
One State Street, New York 10004
Understanding your Credit Report and Your Credit Score
When you apply for a credit card, car loan, personal loan or mortgage, the lender will want to know your past history
of borrowing in order to understand the risk they might be taking by lending you money. The status of your credit
score will depend on how good you’ve been in the past at repaying your debts. A bad credit history can affect the
credit that’s made available to you or even cause you to be denied credit completely. On the other hand, a healthy
credit report and a high credit score can mean better financial options for you. To find out where you stand, a lender
will go to a credit reporting agency to get your credit report.
What are Credit Reporting Agencies?
Credit reporting agencies collect an individual’s financial information, compile it into a credit report and, for a fee,
make it available to the individual and to other authorized parties, including financial institutions. Generally when you
apply for a loan you give the lender permission to get a copy of your credit report. Companies that lend money rely
on credit reporting agencies and the credit reports they generate to help them assess a customer’s ability to repay
what they borrow.
Although there are many local and regional credit bureaus throughout the United States, most credit bureaus are
either owned or under contract to the nation's three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian (formerly
TRW) and TransUnion.
What is a Credit Report?
A credit report is a detailed history of a person’s borrowing habits and consists of the following information:
Identifying information such as your name, past and present addresses, date of birth and employment history;
• Credit accounts submitted by lenders who have extended credit to you. This includes the type of account
(credit card, auto loan, mortgage, etc.), the date