There is no doubt that your credit history is an important part of your financial life. It’s fairly common for consumers to understand that the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian — offer insight into how others view them. You can get a free credit report from each of these bureaus every year by going to www.annualcreditreport.com.
However, reports from these credit agencies aren’t the only files on your behavior. Indeed, there are other companies that collect information on your various consumer habits. These reports can be accessed by interested third parties, and might impact decisions made about you.
- LexisNexis Full File Disclosure: This is a report that concentrates largely on public records and criminal background. It also collects information about homeowners insurance claims and auto insurance claims. You can go to personalreports.lexisnexis.com to find your free report. Under “Information About You” and “Full File Disclosure Reports” you will find an “Access your personal information” link that can take you to your free report.
- CoreLogic: CoreLogic is working on creating a new credit scoring model. In the meantime, though, the company offers its own consumer credit report. It includes public records, as well as loan information. You can get a copy of your report by calling 877-532-8778. The company also hopes to be added to the Annual Credit Report web site along with the three major bureaus sometime this year.
- Chex Systems and TeleCheck: These are reports that offer information about how you handle your checking account. Bounced checks and overdrawn accounts are reported in these files. These are two different companies reporting similar information. Banks that use these reports might deny you a checking account if it appears that you have too many infractions. Access your Chex Systems report at www.consumerdebit.com, and get your TeleCheck report at www.firstdata.com/telecheck. Both sites allow you to request your free report.
- Prescription Drug History: Did you know that your medication history is compiled in a consumer report? This history includes information from the last five years about your prescriptions, dosages, and the doctors that have prescribed them. Your drug history is collected mainly by two companies: Medpoint (888-206-0335) and Intelliscript (877-211-4816).
For most loans, it’s the credit report, and the credit score based on the report, that matters. However, there are some who might want to check your background using other reports. If someone asks tells you that he or she will be running a check, you can ask which report(s) will be used. That way, you have an idea of where the information is coming from.
In any case, it doesn’t hurt for you to pull your consumer behavior reports regularly. It’s free, and it might alert you to possible identity theft, as well inaccuracies that might exist in “official” records (you can dispute errors on your reports). Besides, checking your consumer files might help you understand how others are likely to view your behaviors.