How To Read Your Credit Report

Types of Information Contained in a Credit Report

Credit reports contain information regarding financial actions. These actions will include loan account information and payments on those loan accounts. It is suggested that this information be reviewed at least once every year. This will allow checks for report accuracy. The types of information on a credit report are:

Personal Information

This will include: full name, current address and place of employment. It may also include previous addresses and previous places of employment. There may also be name variations or even name misspellings listed. This will usually relate to minor creditor reporting errors. These minor errors are not considered important. They also provide a link between identities and credit information. However, if the error indicates a completely different identity, then it should be reported to the credit bureau immediately.

Credit Summary Section

The credit summary section will summarize the information pertaining to different account types. This section is comprised of the number of accounts, balances and delinquent account information. Account types listed are:

• Installment accounts (loans)
• Revolving accounts (credit cards, lines of credit)
• Real Estate accounts (mortgages)
• Collection Accounts
• Other types of accounts

In addition, the Credit Summary will also indicate:

• The number of open accounts
• The number of closed accounts
• Accounts listed in public records
• Credit inquiries made in the last two years

Account History Section

The Account History Section will contain the majority of the credit information. Each credit account will be listed here. For each account, payment details will be listed. Details listed will include:

• Name of the creditor
• Account number associated with each account (part of the number may be obscured for security reasons)
• Type of Account (mortgage, auto loan, revolving, etc.)
• Account Responsibility (joint, individual or authorized user responsibilities)
• Monthly account payment (minimum monthly payment amount required)
• Date Account opened (month and year of account establishment)
• Date reported is the date of the last report made by the creditor to the credit bureau
• Account Balance is the current amount owed on the account as of the last reporting date
• Amount of the original loan or the current credit limit
• High Credit or High Balance is the largest amount that was ever charged on a credit card. For installment loans, it will be the original amount of the loan
• Past due is the amount that has past the normal payment date at the time of reporting
• Remarks section includes comments posted by creditors
• Payment status (current, charge-off, past due). Current accounts may still list delinquencies
• Payment History will indicate the monthly payment status from the beginning of the account
• Collection accounts will appear in the account history or in a separate section

Public Records Section

The public records section will include court judgments, bankruptcies, tax liens and overdue child support (in some states). Public record entries may remain on a credit report for seven to ten years. Public Records entries are considered particularly negative on a credit report. To get daily credit monitoring plus access to your credit reports, consider one of thse credit monitoring services https://www.smore.com/ytcu8-the-best-credit-monitoring-services

Credit Inquiries

The credit inquiries section lists those who have accessed the credit report. This will include inquiries made within the past 2 years. Individual credit reports will list all of the inquiries within the last 2 years. However, not all of these are listed on lender's and creditor's versions. Lender's copies will only show 'hard' inquiries. A hard inquiry is made when a credit application is submitted. A 'soft' inquiry is made when a lender accesses the report for credit promotional purposes. Soft inquiries have no effect on an overall credit score. However, hard inquiries will lower a credit score by a small margin.