How do 3-in-1 credit reports work?


Quick Answer

Three-in-one credit reports work by offering consumers reports from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian side-by-side in one document. The report allows people to compare information from the three credit reporting agencies to see if there are any discrepancies.

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How do 3-in-1 credit reports work?
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Full Answer

The three credit reporting agencies work independently, and studies show that a significant number of credit reports contain serious mistakes. The Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1971 made it mandatory for credit bureaus to supply consumers with copies of their credit reports, and the Fair and Accurate Transactions Act of 2003 gave all U.S. citizens the right to have one free credit report each year from each of the three major agencies. Consumers can order these free reports all at the same time and compare them, but the three-in-one report compiles the information into a more user-friendly document.

Credit reports contain a person's personal information, such as name, current and former addresses, Social Security number and employment history. They also detail all credit accounts, including mortgages, car loans, student loans and credit cards, along with a thorough breakdown of payment history. Details are included, such as credit limits and outstanding balances. Outstanding debt and available credit is used to calculate a debt-to-credit ratio, which is an important consideration for people trying to take out a loan.

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