If the pre-opening is any any clue, the credit bureaus stand to profit handsomely by giving out "free credit reports". For example, if you click the Equifax link at the free credit report site, you get a full screen of offers, costing from $4.95 a month to $9.95 a month or from $9.00 one-time cost to $39.95 one-time cost. TransUnion and Experian also link to their for-pay sites.
For now though, and for consumers not on the West coast, the free annual credit report site just has links to each of the bureaus' websites. "Just 4.95, Just 29.95, Just 14.95, Just 6.95
Different lenders care about different things, so credit bureaus make special credit scoring models just for lenders based on their preferences.
It makes sense. People in credit trouble often treat different debts differently. For example, you might be more likely to default on a credit card debt than an auto loan, because you'd risk getting your car repossessed with an auto loan default.
Interest rate trends might be part of the reason, but another unspoken reason might be your credit report. Credit card companies look at it regularly. If you are late on other payments, or if you are becoming "maxed-out" on other cards...you might find yourself being charged more in interest, even on cards for which you have a perfect payment record. Another possibility: Identity theft or errors on your credit report. Your rates could be increasing through no fault of your own! It pays to check your credit report regularly.
The right way, if your mortgage allows it, is for the buyer to formally assume the mortgage. That way, you're off the hook. (Get professional advice on this, if you are unsure of the steps and implications!)
When you cancel a credit card, write a letter requesting that the card company close your account and that your credit report state "closed by consumer." By law, the credit-card issuer must honor your request. They will close your account, cancel your privileges and continue to send your monthly statements until you pay off your balance.
If you return a book late, does that show on your credit report? Almost certainly, it will not. The concern (as it relates to your credit report) arises when you accumulate unpaid fines, and the library finally turns you over to a collection agency. Even then, the collection agency will probably wait 120 days after it receives accounts before informing credit bureaus about outstanding bills.