What information is on your credit report?
There are so many different types of credit reports available, and reading them can be hard. Here is a quick overview of the different sections on a credit report.
This section is important to review regularly because all this information must be accurate to avoid errors on your credit report in the future. Pay close attention to the following:
- Full Name
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Current and Prior Employers
If you see errors, like your name is misspelled or you don’t recognize an address. Then request a Full File Disclosure from each of the credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. This will provide you with detailed information regarding all personal information available in your credit file, then you can dispute all the errors at one time.
This section details your open and recently closed accounts, including:
- Credit Cards
- Car Loans
- Personal Loans
- Student Loans
- Collection Accounts
There are other accounts that report too, but business accounts generally do not appear on personal credit, and neither do personal accounts for things like debit cards, apartment rental history, and utilities.
Make sure you review your account history to make sure everything is accurate.
There are multiple types of inquiries that appear on your credit report.
- Hard Pulls
- Soft Pulls
A hard pull occurs when you give a third party permission to pull your credit e.g. when you apply for something, like a credit card, a new phone service, a mortgage, etc. Hard Pulls are reported for 2 years. In general, you only want to apply for credit 1 to 3 times a year before it really starts to impact your credit score.
Worried about multiple companies pulling your credit- like when you apply for a car? Don’t worry too much, all those hard pulls are grouped together as 1 – why? You are allowed to “shop” for the best deal within a 14 day-ish period. #oversimplified.
This section includes information about public records, including:
- Tax Liens
These accounts will report on your credit report for 10 years and they have a huge impact on your credit score.
If you know you have any of these items, but they are not on your credit report, you may still be denied financing because many lenders do their own public record searches. Just FYI.
Not every credit report includes credit scores. There are multiple types of credit scores, but you care the most about FICO scores. Here is a handy credit score chart.