There’s a vast—and constantly growing—amount of information
about how consumers use credit. And you can be sure that when you apply for credit, whether it’s as routine as asking for a new credit card or as significant as applying for a mortgage, potential creditors will check out your credit history. The three major national credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and Transunion—collect two types of information about you. The first is how you use credit, from how much you owe on car loans, mortgages, and credit cards to the timeliness of your monthly payments. There’s an incredible amount of data that falls into this category— about two billion items a month, which breaks down to an average of 11 items per credit user. Credit bureaus also store public information about you that might influence the way lenders evaluate your creditworthiness. This can include any- thing from records of bankruptcies and foreclosures to court judgments and divorce proceedings.
But credit bureaus don’t gather any personal information that isn’t directly credit- related, such as how much you make, what you spend on rent or utilities, or anything you pay for in cash. Credit bureaus make the information they’ve collected available—at a price— to creditors, banks, potential employers,   Read more…