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What's In Your Credit Report

What’s In Your Credit Report?

 

                A consumer’s credit report can be compared to a school report card; it summarizes your financial activity, much as a report card represents a student’s school work. If you have credit cards, borrowed money, or leased a house or a vehicle, you have a credit history that indicates to prospective lenders, potential employers or landlords, whether you are creditworthy. The history of your credit use is your credit report.

                Your credit report reveals details about your financial behavior, such as:

  • Payment performance
  • Length of credit history
  • Types of credit used
  • Total outstanding debt
  • Total credit available
  • Judgments or liens
  • Bankruptcy or foreclosure

                Credit reports are compiled by national credit-reporting agencies, also known as credit bureaus. The typical credit report contains four types of information:

Personal or Identifying Information

  • Your name
  • Telephone and Social Security numbers
  • Date of birth
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Current and previous employers
  • Salary and occupation (not found on all credit reports)

Public Information

  • Liens
  • Lawsuits
  • Judgments
  • Collection activities
  • Child support

Credit or Account Information

  • List of accounts and account numbers
  • Name of creditor, date account opened
  • Outstanding balances
  • Monthly payment amounts
  • Type of debt, e.g., credit card, mortgage
  • Payment history

Inquiries

  • List of who has recently requested your credit report (limited to past two years)
  • How often you have applied for credit (two year limit)
  • Names of companies that have reviewed your report (initiated by you)

                Not included in a credit report is information about a consumer’s race, religion, medical history, personal lifestyle, political preferences, criminal record, or information not related to credit.

Credit history information, both good and bad, remains on your report for seven years with the exception of bankruptcy, which remains for 10 years. The clock begins ticking at the date of last action per account, such as last payment, closing, or charge-off by a creditor.                

                Consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union,. gather the information on individual consumers from many sources. Every consumer should request a copy of his or her credit report once a year to check for accuracy by accessing the Web site: www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-FACTACT (1-877-322-8228) to request a free copy of your report. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the national consumer reporting companies every 12 months.

 

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