What is a Credit Report and Why is it Important?

byPriyanka JuyalLast Updated: February 20, 2023
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Before we dive into the details of the credit report, let’s take a look at a few things you should know about credit reports.

  • A credit report is a detailed record of your credit history, including information about your borrowing and repayment habits.
  • Credit reports are compiled by credit bureaus, which collect data from banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions.
  • Lenders use credit scores to evaluate your risk as a borrower and determine whether to approve your loan application.
  • A credit report that is free of errors can help you get a better credit score
  • It’s important to regularly check your credit report and monitor your credit score to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date.

What is a Credit Report?

A credit report is a summary of a borrower’s credit history, including personal and professional details, credit accounts, payment history, and outstanding balances. It shows how the borrower has managed their credit accounts and can include details such as their address, date of birth, employment history, and types of bank or credit card accounts. A credit report provides an overview of a borrower’s credit history and can be used by lenders to evaluate their creditworthiness.

It is significant because:

  • A credit report is used by creditors, lenders, and other financial institutions to decide whether or not to provide credit or a loan to an applicant and on what terms.
  • Employers may use a credit report to decide whether or not to hire an applicant, but they must have the applicant’s permission to access their credit report.
  • Insurance companies may use a credit report to decide whether or not to provide insurance to an applicant and at what rates.
  • Telephone and utility companies may use a credit report to decide whether or not to provide services to an applicant.

What is the Information Required to Generate a Credit Report?

The following information is used to generate a credit report:

Personal Details

  • Applicant’s full name, as well as any alternate names used in the past for credit applications
  • Date of Birth
  • Address of the Applicant Associated with the Credit Accounts
  • Contact information associated with the applicant’s credit account
  • Current and previous employers (s)

Account Details

  • Credit accounts details
  • Creditor/lender name
  • Account opening and closing date
  • Credit payment status
  • Credit limit for both- loan and credit cards
  • Total balance in the account
  • Payment history
  • Utility accounts or rental leases


  • Total number of hard inquiries and soft inquiries

Check Credit Report

How is the Credit Report Created?

Credit bureaus collect and manage financial information about individuals and businesses in order to create credit reports. This information is gathered from banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions and is used to create a detailed record of an individual’s or business’s credit history. Credit reports are not static and are updated regularly to reflect the borrower’s most recent credit activities. Access to credit reports is restricted and is only provided to certain individuals or parties.

  • The borrower’s current or prospective employer
  • Lenders that the borrower is seeking a loan from
  • Insurance companies that have issued or will issue an insurance policy to the borrower
  • Utility or telephone companies to evaluate the borrower’s creditworthiness
  • Government agencies that may be interested in reviewing the borrower’s financial status

A credit report can be shared with third parties if the borrower makes a written request. In addition, credit bureaus may provide a borrower’s credit report if required by a court order.

What are the Factors that Affect the Credit Report?

Apart from personal information, credit report is influenced by a variety of factors. Some of them are listed below:

  • Irregular payment history
  • Delayed payments
  • Outstanding balances
  • Half-settled payments
  • Errors in the report
  • Hard inquiries
  • Over-utilization of credit utilization ratio

Overall, a person’s credit report is a reflection of their creditworthiness. Lenders use this information to assess the risk of lending to a borrower and determine whether to approve a loan and at what interest rate.

Check Credit Report

What role do credit bureaus play in determining credit application status?
Credit bureaus only generate credit reports and distribute them to lenders, banks, and financial institutions.
How long does negative information such as late payments, delayed payments, and so on stay on a credit report?
Negative information on a borrower’s credit report can stay on their record for nearly 7 years.
How can I correct the information on my credit report?
To correct any incorrect information on your credit report, you must file a dispute and request that the information be corrected by the concerned authorities.
Can a lender see my credit report as well?
Yes, if necessary, a lender may request access to your credit report in order to determine whether or not to grant you a loan.
Can you check your credit for free?
You can check your credit score for free on the Paytm application.
What is the best way to check your credit report?
Users can opt for any of the following ways to check their credit report:
  • Login in to the Paytm application
  • Visit AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • Call (877) 322-8228
  • Mail: Download and complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form. Send the completed form to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Can I download a copy of my credit report?
Yes, users are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months. He or she can request this from any of the credit bureaus, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Users can also request a copy of their credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com.

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