Just when we think we understand the rules, all of the rules change. The financial education that we receive includes the warning that if we don't responsibly pay the loans we've received, the "big three" are going to find out about it and our credit scores will suffer. It only takes one missed payment to ruin our score.

TUTORIAL: Credit Reports And Scores

The Current Process
Here's how it's supposed to work: All of the important financial transactions that involve credit are reported to the "big three" credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. They aren't the only reporting agencies, but they're the biggest and the three that lenders use to judge your credit worthiness. According to Experian, it hold records on 215 million Americans, around two thirds of the American population. (For related reading, see How To Establish A Credit History.)

Every month, lenders submit updated information about you to each agency. This information may include how much you owe that institution, if you're making payments on time and if you applied for a credit card or loan. They also search public records to see if you filed for bankruptcy or to gain information on foreclosures.

But that's where the reporting ends. These reports aren't designed to get a holistic view of your financial habits. They're only concerned with how you handle loans from financial institutions and that has caused some lending institutions to cry foul. Getting credit is much harder than it once was and lenders want to know more about you. They want to know how you handle all of your financial responsibilities and because of that, the rules that we've always known about credit are slowly changing. The big three may soon become the big four.

CoreLogic
A new product by CoreLogic aims to paint a complete picture of your financial activities. Its report includes missed rental payments, child support judgments, applications and your payment history for payday loans. Other seemingly insignificant information, such as property tax liens, unpaid homeowners association dues or the state of your mortgage payments may also be included.

What kinds of implications does this report have on your future ability to get credit? For now, not much. CoreLogic is already marketing this report to customers, but it won't be available until March when CoreLogic publishes an actual credit score based on this data. Additionally, these reports are being developed specifically for mortgage and home equity lenders so CoreLogic's impact on other credit activities like cell phone contracts or insurance won't be an issue. (For more information, read The Importance Of Your Credit Rating.)

The Future
Lenders and other financial institutions will undoubtedly find a report like this valuable. The New York Times reports that it may only be a matter of time until CoreLogic evolves this product into something that rivals the big three agencies.

The Bottom line
Now that you know that somebody is compiling this data into a report, it's time to abandon the idea that our financial responsibility is only measured by what we do with our credit cards, mortgages and other bank-related obligations. CoreLogic requires each of us to now be responsible for everything we do with our money because somebody is not only watching, they're telling our banks and lenders. (For related reading, see 5 Keys To Unlocking A Better Credit Score.)

Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    Don't Be the Victim of Auto Loan Rip-Offs

    Subprime auto loans – and 60-day delinquencies – are up. These 4 signs of predatory auto loans can tip you off before you're caught in one.
  2. Credit & Loans

    A FICO-free Loan? See SoFi's Super Bowl Ad

    Non-bank lender SoFi will air its first TV ad during Super Bowl 50. Here's how it's challenging big banks by providing an alternative approach to loans.
  3. Credit & Loans

    5 Extreme Ways To Raise Your Credit Score

    Desperate to rebuild your credit score because you can’t obtain a loan with a decent interest rate? Here are some extreme options to try.
  4. Personal Finance

    The Top 5 Personal Finance Experts to Follow in 2016

    Here is a look at five money and investing experts who can help you reach your financial goals for 2016.
  5. Retirement

    7 Ways to Use a Strong Credit Score During Retirement

    Find out why it is important to maintain a good credit in retirement. Learn seven reasons not to leave your credit score behind when you retire.
  6. Retirement

    6 Methods to Maintain a Healthy Credit Score During Retirement

    Learn how to improve your credit score during retirement. Your credit score still matters in retirement, and these tips can give it a boost.
  7. Retirement

    8 Ways for Retirees to Improve Their Credit Score

    These simple strategies will go a long way toward helping raise a damaged credit score.
  8. Personal Finance

    10 Unfamiliar Ways to Help Pay Down Medical Bills

    Mounting medical bills can be frightening. But these out-of-the-box solutions can help you avoid ruining your credit rating when you don't pay them.
  9. Home & Auto

    5 Things You Need To Be Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

    Before you can get serious about buying a home, you need to get pre-approval for a mortgage. Learn what you need to speed up the approval process.
  10. Credit & Loans

    Business Vs. Consumer Credit Reports: What's the Difference?

    Find out the difference between a business credit report and a personal credit report, and why it should matter for business owners.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can a debt collector contact me about a debt that's no longer on my credit report?

    According to Experian, a debt collector is permitted to contact a consumer about a debt that is no longer on the consumer's ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How many free credit reports can you get per year?

    Individuals with valid Social Security numbers are permitted to receive up to three credit reports every 12 months rather ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Does Netspend report to credit bureaus?

    NetSpend does not report to credit bureaus in any capacity. NetSpend is a prepaid debit card program that allows cardholders ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is it possible to get a free credit report from Equifax?

    It is possible to get a free credit report from Equifax, as well as the other two major credit bureaus, Experian and TransUnion. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Do free credit reports affect your credit score?

    Free credit reports do not impact your credit score. Credit inquiries are divided into two categories: soft inquiries and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Does a free credit report show your credit score?

    The free credit reports available from the three credit reporting agencies do not include your credit score. Under the 2 ... Read Full Answer >>
Trading Center