You’ve heard of credit reports but do you really know what they are – or where they come from?

I’m Adam Levin and this is the Wall Street Journal credit minute.

Your credit report is a record of your financial behavior that’s kept by credit reporting agencies which provide that information to businesses when they’re considering potential borrowers. There are 3 national credit bureaus that maintain credit reports on consumers – TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. They don’t share information with each other, though, so your report with each of these agencies may be a little different.

Credit reports include personal information like your name, where you live now and in the past, or perhaps where you work. You’ll also see a list of most, if not all, of your credit accounts like student loans, mortgages or auto loans. And if you’ve had credit problems, collection accounts or public records such as bankruptcy filings and tax liens may be listed.

What you won’t find on your report: your income, gender or ethnicity, which creditors aren’t allowed to use anyway. And you may not see your credit score either.

I’m Adam Levin. Come visit us at and learn how to take control of your credit.