Credit Reports and Credit Bureaus
This lesson will provide high school students with information about what information is collected by the three main credit bureaus and included on a credit report, and how credit bureaus share the information. Free resources for viewing personal credit scores also discussed.
- What is a credit bureau?
- Explore and evaluate websites for three main credit bureaus.
- Evaluate websites that provide 'free' vs. 'paid' credit report information.
- Visit commercial website that can be used to access credit score information.
- Examine the legal and financial information included on a credit report.
- Examine steps to correct mistakes on a credit report.
Instructor and Student: Internet access. Device to view online websites and video. Writing utensil and work space.
Time Required for Lesson: 75 minutes
Device to access video and websites if student will be viewing independently.
Possible note taking materials or device.
1) Review how a credit card works and the numerical range of a credit score.
2) Explain that a credit report provides more detailed information than a three digit credit score.
GOOGLE Search Activity
Ask students these questions and allow them to 'Google' the answers:
* There are three major credit bureaus that generate personal credit reports. What are they?
Understanding credit and borrowing terminology and concepts.
Activities (i.e. instructions, warm-up, lesson, cool-down):
1) Complete PRE-ACTIVITY.
2) After identifying the three major credit bureaus, view this video clip.
Before viewing ask students to be ready to provide answers to this question.
What information is listed on a credit report?
(Students could take notes during video, write answers on small whiteboards, use an online tool like Padlet to answer question)
View a sample credit report as students share their answers.
3) How to access a personal credit report?
Explain that there are many websites and agencies that can be used to access a credit report.
FREE resources include:
EXPERIAN, EQUIFAX, TRANSUNION also offer one free report per year.
Video promoting the FTC site: YOUR SOURCE FOR A TRULY FREE CREDIT REPORT?
PAID subscription resources include:
FREECREDITREPORT.COM EXPERIAN EQUIFAX TRANSUNION
Video clips promoting the FREECREDITREPORT.COM service: FREE CREDIT REPORT
4) Article: (Source: Investopedia.com)
FREE CREDIT SCORE, IS IT REALLY FREE? (References popular website like CreditKarma, Mint, etc.)
5) Discuss the importance of correcting errors on a credit report.
Article: ERRORS ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT (myfico.com)
THINK / PAIR / SHARE
Students form small groups and collectively answer questions to review credit bureau and credit report information.
Examples of oral questions:
* Name the three credit bureaus.
* What does FTC stand for? What is the purpose of the FTC?
* Name one critical piece of information that is included on a credit report?
Lesson could be completed independently or as a group in the classroom.
Safety Precautions: NA
Comments (adaptations for various grades/ages, teaching styles, etc.)
The pre-activity could be done in small groups to encourage participation and understanding with low level learners.