Help Desk FAQ

Credit reports and scores


What are “specialty” reports, and how can I obtain mine?

Credit reports, which compile data that reflects how a consumer uses credit and manages his or her bills, are the most widely used type of consumer report, and the only one that most people are aware of. But there are other consumer reports, called specialty reports, that compile different or additional information about you. Employers, landlords, insurance companies and others use these specialty reports as a tool in their decision-making process. 

Not all specialty reports exist for every consumer, but there is at least one specialty report on most consumers. The same law that gives you the right to review each of your three credit reports once a year also gives you the right to review your specialty reports. Rather than request every specialty report every year, however, the best time to check one of your reports is when you know it might be used—when you’re planning to apply for an apartment or insurance, for example—or if you're a victim of identity theft.

It’s a good idea to learn about the various specialty reports, the types of information they compile, how to request your reports and what your rights are. The information will prepare you to correct any errors, improve your history or, if necessary, add an explanation to your file before you think the report will be needed. Learn more by reading Consumer Action's publication on Specialty Credit Reports.




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