What is an Investigative Consumer Report and how does it differ from a credit report? As it turns out, there is quite a substantial difference between the two, and any savvy consumer should learn the differences as they can have an impact on your credit history.
What is a Credit Report?
Your credit report is a collection of data gathered from your creditors, which summarizes your credit history. When you apply for a credit card – your bank, credit card company, or mortgage lender uses your credit report to evaluate the potential risk of lending money to you. Although, the data can be boiled down to a three digit numerical score, it makes no inference about your general reputation or character. You could be a mean scrooge, but as long as you pay your bills on time, your credit report will be spotless.
Investigative Consumer Report Basics
An Investigative Consumer Report, on the other hand, is a form of credit report that is more like a detailed background check. In addition to covering your general creditworthiness, it also involves the gathering of information on your character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or way of living. The gathering of that information may even include interviews with your neighbors, friends, and associates about your lifestyle, character, and reputation. Investigative Consumer Reports will not include any information about your credit record obtained directly from a creditor, or from you. It is not used, and cannot be used, as part of an application to grant credit. Normally, the use of investigative consumer reports is limited to certain specific uses, such as employment background checks, or insurance application.