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credit history. This article explains everything you need to know.
A Credit Report is a detailed document offering financial information and credit history about a borrower to a lender, in order to aid the borrowing process. This has implications on interest rates and the accepting process to begin with. A credit report may include any current or previous debts, times when payments were late and the amounts borrowed.
A credit report is generally a more in depth look at a person's credit history, than simply obtaining a credit score or rating, which is available from a credit bureau at a price. A lender may ask for a full credit report when they are unsure about a borrower or if they ask for an extremely large amount of money. Simple credit ratings don't always give enough information for a lender to act accordingly.
Some lenders always work with a credit report, so they are more in control and knowledgeable about their borrowers. If a lender requires a full credit report it is usually done with full permission from the borrower because the information is more personal and identifiable than an out of context figure like a credit rating or score.
It is likely that whenever you apply for a credit card, a loan, a housing mortgage or even purchase a car on finance that you'll be investigated and some kind of credit report will be compiled and sold to the lender. If the report is mainly negative, with details on a lot of debt and late payments then you may be rejected or charged very high interest rates
Since 2005, US citizens have been able to apply for a free credit report themselves, once every year by law. This allows you to see the information that potential lenders may see, giving you the opportunity to improve before asking for a loan or credit. It also gives a second opinion in case you disagree with the credit report obtained by a lender.