Where does the information come from?

Joe's Credit Repair


Where Does the Information Come From?

Now that you know who creates the credit reports, let’s talk about where the information comes from. Although the information may come from many places, it generally comes from three sources – you, your creditors, and public records. Let’s look at each of these sources and the information that they provide.

It's coming from you?

Yes, you! You unknowingly supply a great deal of information to the credit bureaus. How? Generally this happens when you apply for credit.

When you apply for credit, you typically complete a credit application in which you supply your full name, Social Security Number, current and former addresses, and current and previous employment. And guess what your potential creditor does with the information you listed in the application? That’s right. They send it all to the credit bureaus. This information then becomes a part of your credit file. Therefore, it’s important that you accurately complete this information on any credit applications that you complete.

Your Creditors

Your current and former creditors also provide information to the credit bureaus about you. These creditors tell the credit bureaus how you’ve paid your bills each month. But, not all of your creditors report all of your payment history to the credit bureaus.

Some creditors, sometimes called “automatic subscribers,” report all of your payment history to the credit bureaus every month. Other creditors, sometimes called “limited subscribers” only report certain types of information – like delinquencies. Let’s look at these different types of creditors.

Automatic Subscribers

Automatic Subscribers are creditors that regularly report information to the credit bureaus about your account with them. This information generally includes the date when this creditor opened the account, the total amount of the debt or credit limit, the current balance, and your payment history – good or bad.

There are many different types of automatic subscribers, including banks, credit unions, department stores, finance companies, and major credit card companies. But, just because a creditor is an automatic subscriber to one credit bureau, doesn’t necessarily mean that the creditor will report to all of the major credit bureaus. That’s one reason that the credit reports produced by different credit bureaus very often contain different information.

Limited Subscribers

Limited Subscribers are creditors that do NOT regularly report information to the credit bureaus. Instead, these creditors may only report certain types of information – like delinquencies or collection activities. They generally do not report good credit information, usually just bad information.

There are many different types of limited subscribers, including apartment management companies, insurance companies, utility companies, medical providers, and collection agencies. As with automatic subscribers, many limited subscribers may only report information to one of the national credit bureaus. Therefore, bad information reported by a limited subscriber may only affect one of your credit reports.

Creditors That Do Not Reports to Any Credit Bureau

Finally, there are some creditors that do not report to the credit bureaus at all. This means that any information – good or bad – will not show in any of your credit reports. Typically, these creditors include individuals, like landlords, or small companies. (When you’re trying to improve your credit in later chapters, you need to be aware of creditors that do not report to the credit bureaus. These creditors will not help you to restore your credit. We’ll talk about this later.)

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