What Information Is Included In Your Credit Report?

What will you learn

What is a credit report?

What information is included in your credit report?

What to do if you need to correct your credit report?

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What Information Is in a Credit Report?

Credit reports are a record of all the credit accounts you have opened, and the credit bureaus use the information provided in them to calculate your credit score. Essentially, they are a record of your creditworthiness. There are four categories of information in a credit report: personal identification information, credit accounts, inquiries, and public records information. We'll walk you through each one and show you how they affect your credit report.

1. Personal Identification Information

Personal information such as your name, social security number, date of birth, current and prior addresses, and current and former employers are used to verify your identity. This data is collected from the information used to apply for a new credit line to confirm that it is associated with you.

2. Credit Accounts

Here you will find a history on each credit account that you have on record, including open, closed, charge-off, and collections accounts. Lenders report information regarding the status of your accounts on a regular, usually monthly, basis. Depending on what your lender reports, your credit report should show the following:

  • Account Type
  • Payment Status
  • Previous Month’s Payment Statuses
  • Original and current loan amounts
  • Credit limit and available credit
  • Minimum monthly payment
3. Credit Inquiries

Credit inquiries occur whenever someone views your credit report. There are two types of credit inquires, hard and soft, and are often referred to as 'pulls.' A hard inquiry occurs when you submit a new application for credit and the lender pulls your credit to review your history. It is important to note that lenders can see how many hard inquires you have had in the past two years, so we recommended keeping your hard inquiries low. By contrast, a soft inquiry is only visible to you and occurs when you look at your credit report or when companies check eligibility for "pre-selected" offers.

4. Public Records

Public Records are reports sent to the credit bureaus detailing bankruptcy filings and any debt that has been sent to collections. This information is available to lenders so they can make informed decisions on your risk to repay your debt when considering you for new credit accounts. Bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, while accounts in collections can remain on your report for up to 7 years.

What to Do if You Find Inaccurate Information on Your Credit Report

It can be upsetting to find any negative marks on your credit report – even more so if the information is incorrect! If you find an inaccuracy on your credit report, do not stress, it happens. Companies can misreport information accidentally, or you may find that there have been illegitimate requests for credit that you did not make.

The first thing to do is file a dispute with the credit bureau, explaining what information is incorrect and why you want it removed. Additionally, you should contact the company in question to understand why the error occurred and what actions they need to take to correct it.

While you are in the process of disputing, make sure you remain current in your payments with the lender in question. Even if they resolve the dispute in your favor, you will still be responsible for any missed payments and applicable late fees.

How to Check Your Credit Report

While you can access your credit reports and file a dispute on your own, navigating the process can be time-consuming, frustrating, and even a bit challenging. That's why our expert advisors are trained to guide you through understanding inaccurate information on your report and filing disputes on your behalf. Start a conversation with one of our professional Credit Helpers to start your journey towards better and more accurate credit reporting today!

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