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Credit Reports

You will eventually build up enough credit history that it will appear on a credit report. Credit reports are maintained by the three major credit bureaus.  Activity on credit cards, store charge accounts, student loans and other types of credit will appear on a credit report. Activities include your payment history, account balances, new credit, canceled credit, loan defaults, types of credit, and name and address changes.

Other information on a credit report includes your marital status, birth date, Social Security number, and public records including bankruptcy filings, tax liens and any court action that has been taken against you for unpaid bills. Credit reports cannot include information such as your race, religion, health status, and political affiliation.

Use credit responsibly as your credit report will document any late payments on your credit accounts.

Your credit score is calculated by an equation that evaluates many types of information that are on your credit report. The credit score identifies your level of future credit risk. Lenders use your credit score to lower their risk based on the report information. The higher the score, the lower the risk to lend you money.

You may request a free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.  Every consumer is able to receive one free copy of their credit report each year from each credit bureau.

Additional Credit Reports

The three major credit bureaus are developing a new extended credit report that is supposed to include billing information and history on your various accounts, such as telephone, power, and cable television bills.

Another financial history report is ChexSystems. ChexSystems is used by financial institutions such as banks and credit unions to evaluate potential customers. The report includes information on your banking history and includes any overdrafts, bounced checks, and/or closed accounts that you might have had. Information is reported by your bank and will stay on your report for five years unless the institution requests removal or ChexSystems is required by law to remove the information.

ChexSystems is covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, so disputes should be handled in the same way as your credit report. You should also include contacting ChexSystems in your ID theft plan.

For more information, visit http://www.chexhelp.com/ or call the ChexSystems Voice Response Unit at 800.428.9623.

Stay In Touch
With Hampshire's Loan Counselor
Snail Mail
Loan Counselor
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email
413.559.6042
Fax: 413.559.5585
loans@hampshire.edu