Your credit history is maintained by three different private companies called credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. So is this information so important?
UNDERSTANDING YOUR CREDIT REPORT
Know Your Credit History
Your credit report lists all the consumer credit that has been extended to you over the past seven years. It will also show how many payments you made on time and how many late payments were late.
Check For Accuracy
Sometimes your credit report contains errors. It just makes sense to find out about your credit and correct any problems now.
Know Your Rights
Negative credit information can be reported in your credit file for only seven years. After that, it drops out and cannot even be considered. The one exception is bankruptcy, which can be reported for 10 years. But after that you start with essentially a clean slate.
Lenders are much more concerned about how you have handled your credit recently than with what happened several years ago. Although you can't raise your score overnight, you can do so fairly quickly. The fastest way to improve your score is to pay down balances and be on time.