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Credit Bureaus

Your credit history includes information concerning your identity, your payment habits, and your public record.

What is a credit bureau?

A credit bureau, or credit repository, is an entity that gathers information about consumers' credit histories. Credit bureaus sell credit reports to credit grantors, such as banks, finance companies, and retailers. Credit grantors use credit reports to determine whether or not a potential borrower is creditworthy. There are three major credit bureaus in the United States: Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. These three bureaus provide nationwide coverage of consumer credit information.

How do the credit bureaus obtain information?

Credit bureaus obtain identification and credit information from credit grantors, such as banks, retailers, and collection agencies. Bureaus obtain monetary-related public record information directly from the court systems.

How long do the credit bureaus keep my credit information?

The credit bureaus keep your personal credit history for a period of approximately ten years.

  • Closed or Inactive Accounts - 10 years from the date of last activity.
  • Derogatory Accounts - 7 years from the date of original delinquency.
  • Public Records - 7 years from the date of payment or indefinitely if the Public Record is an unpaid tax lien.
  • Chapter 7 Bankruptcies - 10 years from date filed.