Most people are aware of credit reports that detail the history of your borrowing and debt repayment. But most people would be surprised to learn that there is a similar report detailing your previous banking relationships.

Just as lenders check your credit reports when deciding whether or not to approve a loan, banks also check your consumer banking report before deciding to open a checking account. Negative items such as bounced checks stay on your banking report for five years, instead of the seven years negative information stays on your credit report.

Banks may not be willing to open a new checking account for you if they notice derogatory information in your banking report, such as bounced checks or lots of closed accounts.

Consumers are entitled to a free copy of this banking report once every 12 months.

To obtain a free copy of your banking report, go to www.consumerdebit.com and click on FACTA Free Annual Report.

To learn more about banking reports, log onto Bankrate.com. I’m Kristin Arnold.