Personal Finance 

Request & Check Your Specialty Reports Annually

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Antique Magnifying GlassMost people are now aware that they can get a copy of their credit history from each of the three major credit bureaus every twelve months. We can thank the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for that right (which you can exercise by going to What most people aren’t aware of is that the FCRA also gives you the same level access for other “specialty” reports as well. There are several companies that don’t create “credit” reports but do collect your data into what are commonly referred to as special reports. Fortunately, you are afforded the same rights to those reports as well!

This opinion from the FTC was issued on September 15th, 1999 and covers which companies are considered consumer reporting agencies:

Section 603(f) defines a “consumer reporting agency” as any person “which, for monetary fees, dues, or on a cooperative nonprofit basis, regularly engages in whole or in part in the practice of assembling or evaluating consumer credit information or other information … for the purpose of furnishing consumer reports to third parties …”. In turn, Section 603(d) defines a “consumer report” as the communication of “any information” by a CRA that bears on a consumer’s “credit worthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living” that is “used or expected to be used or collected in whole or in part” for the purpose of serving as a factor in establishing eligibility for credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, employment purposes, or any other purpose authorized under Section 604.

So, what are some good specialty reports can you get?

  • The most meaty of reports comes from LexisNexis’s ChoicePoint system, where you can get a Full File Disclosure which contains insurance (CLUE reports & insurance carrier reports), employment background checks (if one was ordered), criminal records information, and rental history reports.
  • You can request a copy of your LexisNexis Accurint Person Report which contains a wealth of information, including voter registration, possible associates, property (aircraft, watercrafts!) owned, etc. You can see a sample Accurint Person Report here.
  • ChexSystems collects information for a Consumer Report that includes check cashing information, such as any records of NSF fees (non-sufficient funds fee) and returned checks. You can see a sample ChexSystems Consumer Report here.
  • ISO A-PLUS loss-history report contains information about your loss history (basically your insurance claims), as you probably expected.
  • The Medical Information Bureau collects your medical and prescription drug history for their reports and you can get a copy of that by filing a request at their website.

There are plenty of other consumer reporting agencies and if you want full instructions on every single report out there, hop on over to the specialty reports page at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. As is the case with credit reports. you want to check these to make sure the information they have on file for you is accurate and correct.

Time to make some requests!

(Photo: athena1970)

{ 17 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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17 Responses to “Request & Check Your Specialty Reports Annually”

  1. That’s pretty nifty! I’ll have to check each one of these out in the coming weeks!

    I never realized all these people were so interested in what I’m doing. 🙂 A little creepy when you think about it.

  2. Gregfox says:

    Someday I want to find out everything Google knows about me. I bet it knows me better than I do occasionally.

  3. Awesome information, thanks for compiling it all in one location gathering my paperwork now.

  4. eric says:

    Bookmarked! I knew about these reports but never got around to checking them. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. williamsti says:

    Is it true that when you request your credit report that you are “dinged” against your score?

    • Jim says:

      No, it’s considered a “soft inquiry” and doesn’t affect your score. Only “hard inquiries,” where lenders pull your report to make a lending decision, count against your score.

  6. thomas says:

    Wow, never really knew (or remembered) about these reports. It’s also pretty scary to know so many companies have information about you.

  7. Excellent info, I didn’t realize those reports could be obtained also.

  8. javi says:

    Thanks for the info! Got some work to do now.

  9. Requesting your reports should be an every six month thing- like changing the batteries in your smoke detectors . . .

  10. John says:

    Capital One likes to send me a rejection letter, some FACT act later, saying that I didn’t qualify for a credit limit increase because my credit report didn’t look swell.

    Bank of America is supposed to do that as well when they reject me but they don’t, damn lazy asses.

    Anyway, when they send you a FACT act letter, you can get a free credit report… muhahah

  11. Bargain babe says:

    Interesting, I never knew this info was available. I’m going to link to this on my blog, Very useful!

  12. Deloris says:

    There are 3 free credit reporting agencies. They all have pretty much the same information, so mark your calendar: go on-line for a report from agency #1 in January, agency #2 in May, and Agency #3 in September. This way you get a fresh report every 4 months.

  13. Ryan P Smith says:

    Great Post, There are sometimes surprising things on the CLUE Report.

  14. daemondust says:

    Am I the only one who has a problem with giving these companies information about myself they might not already have?

    For example, to get the choicepoint file I would have to send a copy of my driver’s license (telling them if I wish to be a donor, what driving restrictions I might have, etc) and something along the lines of a billing or bank statement, possibly giving them information on how much I spend and where.

    Nowhere on any of the forms or associated documentation does it say how this information will be used, so I can only assume it will be used to augment and verify their database as well as “verify” I am who I say I am when requesting their report.

  15. audra says:

    i know this will likely benefit a lot of people. but here we go again giving the information that they may not necessarily need. you would think they would be able to look this stuff up using your name the right and wrong spelling of it. and your birth month and date as well as address history. sounds to me like that should be enough. how many june smiths born on october 5 and has lived in boise, idaho and myrtle beach. i mean really what is the likely hood of finding duplicate files there. they just need to less intrusive ways to get people’s information to them so they can correct it or ask to have it deleted.

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