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While there are hundreds of credit reporting bureaus at the local, regional, and national level, there are three large bureaus that almost all the others tie into. Those three are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The information contained in the credit reports issued by these three companies, while similar in scope, can vary significantly. There is identifying information, such as the name, address, telephone number, Social Security number, date of birth, and past and current employment history of the individual. There is a payment history section that includes information on your credit payment history, including the number and amount of past due accounts. The public information section includes information culled from public records such as tax liens, court judgments, and bankruptcies against you, if any. Finally, the inquiry section includes a list of all official credit report inquiries, including information on who made the inquiry and the date of the inquiry. This section alerts potential lenders to the fact that you may be attempting to open multiple new accounts, which could present a credit risk.