Contrary to popular belief, your credit report does not contain information about your checking or savings accounts, your race, religion, gender, political affiliation, or personal lifestyle. Your credit report also does not contain medical history or criminal records.
However, your credit report is only one type of consumer report. As we’ve seen, there are specialized consumer reporting agencies that DO collect, maintain, and report some of this information. In addition, there are companies that provide what the FCRA calls an “investigative consumer report” which it defines as:
A consumer report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information.
Fortunately, the FCRA requires that these companies notify you if they prepare an investigative consumer report about you. Although this is something to be aware of, let’s stay focused on credit reports for now. Just remember that credit reports and investigative consumer reports are different.
Finally, your credit report may also not contain information from all of your creditors. As we talked about above, some of your creditors may not report to all of the credit bureaus and some may not report to any of the credit bureaus. Therefore, parts of your credit accounts and history may appear in different credit reports or not at all.