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Frequently asked questions
Credit reports are records of how you've handled credit accounts in the past. Three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — gather this data. They list your accounts and your payments, as well as any problems like late payments, collections, lawsuits or bankruptcies.
No, reports just list your credit history with no interpretation. Scores, on the other hand, apply a formula to the data in your reports to create a three-digit number predicting how likely you are to repay money as agreed.
When you sign up with NerdWallet, you get access to your TransUnion credit report. It's updated weekly and you can check it whenever you want. You also are entitled to a free report every 12 months direct from each of the three credit bureaus (the other two are Experian and Equifax) by using AnnualCreditReport.com.
Scores are not on the reports you get direct from the credit bureaus. But when you sign up with NerdWallet you get your free TransUnion VantageScore 3.0 credit score along with the access to your TransUnion credit report information.
You do, if your name is on a credit account and the credit issuer reports to a credit bureau. A "credit account" means something you are legally required to pay, like a loan or credit card. Adults who don't have traditional credit accounts likely don't have credit reports. And minors likely won't have a credit report unless they're authorized users on an adult's credit card.
Lenders and credit card issuers; debt collectors; public records (such as bankruptcies, tax liens and judgments against you); and sometimes landlords. Any of these entities can choose to report your activity to all three bureaus, some of them or none — reporting is voluntary.
You can see your own credit report. With your permission, so can potential employers. Insurers, banks, utilities and landlords can see your credit history if you submit an application with them. Lenders can see your report if you apply or if they extend a preapproved offer.
Check the things that should be there to make sure they're accurate: names you've used, addresses you've lived at, your Social Security number and birthdate. Then, look for things that do not belong there: accounts you didn't open; payments marked late or accounts marked delinquent when you paid on time; negative records like judgments showing up beyond the number of years they can be reported.
You can dispute errors on your credit report with the bureau that is showing the information. The bureau has 30 days to investigate and take action.
Yes! You can sign in to NerdWallet at any time to see your free TransUnion credit report, your free credit score and more.
NerdWallet uses industry standard encryption to keep your information safe. We never sell your information and you'll only be contacted by a lender if you click on a pre-qualified offer.