7 Things You Can Learn From A Credit Check

7 Things You Can Learn From A Credit Check

If you have ever used a credit card, borrowed a loan, or incurred some other kind of debt where you purchased a product or service that you paid for later, you probably have a credit history.

Whenever you receive credit from a financial institution, such as a credit card company or bank, the bank or company will usually send information about your ability to make your repayments on time to a credit bureau or credit reporting agency. The bureau compiles such information from any financial institution you deal with, creating your personal credit history.

When you want to borrow money or lease an apartment in the future, the lender or landlord will perform a credit check via a credit bureau to determine your ability to repay the loan or make timely payments on your house. Insurance companies also rely on a credit check to set your premiums, as do employers as part of the hiring process.

Depending on how good or bad your credit history or credit score is, you can have trouble getting credit. If you qualify for a loan, the lender may require you to pay a higher interest rate because of the risk involved.

But what kind of information can these parties learn from a credit check?

A credit check generally reveals any information about your past and present financial and personal situation, including:

  • Personal information: Details such as your name, date of birth, telephone number, current and previous address, social insurance number, and your previous and current employers
  • Credit information: Details about any current debt, including a loan, mortgage, line of credit, or credit/retail card
  • Banking information: Details about all your accounts, including any “bad” cheques you have written in the past or non-sufficient funds (NSF)
  • Collection information: Details about any debt that you were unable to pay and got referred to a collection agency for payment
  • Public records: Details on your public record, including bankruptcy, credit-related court judgements against you in a lawsuit, and secured loans
  • Consumer statement: Any statement you have made in the past explaining a situation, such as a fraud warning or dispute with a financial institution
  • Credit report enquiries: List of all the parties who have performed your credit check, including yourself, a lender, employer, or other entity

While you have the right to perform your own credit check, other people cannot access the information on your report unless you permit it. You give permission when you sign documents such as a credit card or loan application to the lender. Otherwise, the credit bureau can only give access to your credit report when you grant permission, and when the request is related to credit, renting a home, debt collection, or application for employment or insurance.

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