What’s In A Credit Report?

To understand the credit process, you first need to understand what information is contained in a credit report. Although the style, format and coding may be different depending on which credit reporting bureau is used, the typical consumer’s credit report includes the following four types of information:

Identifying Information—includes your name, nicknames, current and previous addresses, Social Security number, date of birth, current and previous employers and/or spouses. This information comes from any credit application you have completed and its accuracy depends on your filling out forms clearly, completely and consistently each time you apply for credit.

Credit Information—includes specific information about each account including the date opened, credit limit or loan amount, balance, monthly payment and payment pattern during the past several years. The report will show if an account has been turned over to a collection agency or is in dispute. The report also states whether anyone else besides you (i.e. a spouse or cosigner) is responsible for paying the account. This information comes from companies that do business with you.

Public Record Information—includes federal district bankruptcy records, state and county court records, tax liens and monetary judgments and, in some states, overdue child support payments. This information comes from public records.

Inquiries—includes the names of those who have obtained a copy of your credit report for any reason. This information comes from the credit reporting agency and it remains available for as long as two years according to U.S. federal law.

Your thoughts on this subject? Your comments appreciated!

Content © Rich Brott, 2011

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