Yesterday, we saw that certain banks do hard credit inquiries on checking accounts, but learned that others simply use ChexSystems to determine whether or not to issue checking accounts.
Did you know that you are entitled to a consumer report once a year?
I went on to ChexSystems Consumer Assistance site, and ordered my consumer report. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) amendments to the federal Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA), you are entitled to a free copy of your consumer report, once every twelve months.
So what does a ChexSystems report contain?
I went on to the ChexSystems website and requested my free copy, not because I was worried but because I was curious about what was on it.
It turns out that it could contain a lot of information. There are seven types of information listed on the report.
First is reported information about accounts that have been mishandled, reported for cause, and/or outstanding debts. This information is retained by ChexSystems for five years.
Next are inquiries initiated by consumer action. This refers to inquiries resulting from a transaction initiated by you. These include applying for a credit card or completing an application at a financial institution. These inquiries can be viewed for ninety days up to three years (Although I opened a credit card less than a year ago, and it is not listed.).
Third are inquiries not initiated by consumer action. This includes current creditors, pre-approval creditors, potential employers, and potential investors trying to assess risks. This information is only reported to you as a record of activities and it is not included on requests made by others.
Retail information is also included. This refers to returned checks written on an account and certain collection accounts. Retailers and other businesses report this information to Certegy Check Services, which passes the information on to ChexSystems.
A history of checks ordered is also included and refers to a record of check orders placed within the past three years.
The last two parts are the social security number validation and the drivers license verification. They simply include basic information about when a particular sequence of digits first became available by the Social Security Administration and any information associated with you (last 4 digits of driver’s license number, state, name, and date of birth).
Surprisingly, other than the social security number validation and drivers license number, my report contained no information. I thought my credit card would be included as well as a bank account I opened about a little less than a year ago. However, they must have fallen off a bit earlier than expected.
Now that you know what’s included, do you Want your own report? Simply head over to the ChexSystems site and order your free consumer report.