by Jeanine Skowronski

You may already know that lenders and other service providers use lots of different credit scores to determine whether they want to do business with you (and at what rate you’ll pay), but you may not realize that there are a variety of credit reports in use as well.

Though a majority of companies request a copy of your credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus when you apply for a credit card or loan, “there are niche providers of different types of data,” Dennis Dixon, president of Zoot Enterprises, a firm that provides credit analytics to financial institutions, said. “Many of these alternative credit reporting sources are used in addition to the base bureau’s credit report.”

As such, these data sources can ultimately determine your ability to secure affordable financing, housing, cellphone plans or other contracts. Here are five specialty credit reports you may not know about, but should.

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