You are entitled to get a copy of your credit report online for free, once a year, from all three credit reporting agencies, (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, by going to the following site and choosing your option:
You can also go to creditkarma.com to see your free credit report and credit score, but they only include 2 of the three credit reporting agencies.
If you find a discrepancy on any of the reports, you can contact the credit reporting agency and have them correct it or remove it, after proving that it is incorrect or outdated, then follow up with them, to make sure it was done.
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You asked how to pull a real credit report online and I gave you the information. Anyone pulling that report, will see the same information you will see. Once you do that, and you see what's included on your credit report, you can call each reporting agency to question anything that is incorrect. There were two links in my answer, the first one will get you all three credit reports, once a year, for free. The second one (creditkarma.com) will give you the reports from Transunion and Equifax, but will also include your credit SCORE, which is good to know. You need to register, but it is absolutely free and you don't have to give a credit card number. I use it myself.
First, pull the credit reports from all three agencies and then see if there are any mistakes or items that need to be removed or changed; then contact them directly, to have that done. It can take a little while for the change to show up.
I have said nothing argumentative and my apologies if you interpreted my answers in that way.
I will opt out and your question will be open to all other experts.
Should medical bills show up? Only if medical bills have gone to a collection agency, will they show up. Like all other bills, if they are paid on time they won't.
should late utility bills? Yes, if it is within the last 7 1/2 years.
should an 18 year old bankruptcy? No. The time frame is 7 1/2 years.
What should be on the report and what should not be on the report. Your credit history should be on the report. Your spouse's credit history, private medical information and anything else that doesn't affect credit should not be.
If there is something that should have dropped off and it has not, could the person pulling the report use that information against me. If you ask for your own credit report, you can have any errors corrected, so this should never be a problem. If you don't take that step, any person looking at the report will use the information provided.
What is my recourse against the credit reporting company giving out information that should have been dropped. This is actually a legal question that should be directed at your attorney. However, you can eliminate this possibility by taking a few minutes to every year to get copies of your credit report from each agency
How do I get the report corrected? Each of the three credit agencies has its own method, clearly explained when you get your credit report from them.
Any time someone is consistently late paying any bill, it goes in their credit report. That is just part of their credit history. One or two times being 30 days late isn't going to be reported to the credit agency, but a consistent record of not paying anything on time will be on the credit report.
Of course everyone has their own opinion. However, you asked how the credit bureau reports work and I've explained that. We don't make their rules for them. Credit bureaus were begun in the late 1800s as central places where the creditworthiness of any individual could be stored in a central place so a company didn't have to initiate an expensive investigation every time someone applied for credit. Each time someone uses credit, their repayment history is reported to the credit bureau. Banks, mortgage companies and anyone who loans money can check to see if the individual applying for credit has a history of fulfilling his obligations on time, or if he/she is consistently late or doesn't pay at all. A poor credit history will result in the lender refusing to lend money in the first place, or charging a higher rate of interest for the extra risk being taken on.
If you are concerned about something erroneous being on your credit report, it takes only a minute to ask for the report and read it. The credit bureau will readily remove anything that has been reported wrong to them. If you are looking for further recourse, you can consult an attorney.
I worked in retail for years, primarily with credit bureaus. I have also pulled my own credit report yearly to check for inaccurate information. It took just a minute. You can pull one report from each bureau for FREE every year. It doesn't cost a cent.
I am going to opt out, since I've already answered the question ("How do I pull a credit report?") and I have no wish to argue with you when I've already given you the answer.
Good luck with your credit.