What’s on your credit report?

Your credit report and your credit scores are two different things. Your credit scores are derived from your credit report. You can get your credit report from any number of websites that offer credit reporting and monitoring. In some instances, you’ll need to pay for your credit report. In others, you can get it for free by signing up for the company’s credit monitoring/credit security service.

Your credit report shows:

  1. Personally Identifying Information
    In your credit report can be found your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth, and employment information. These factors are only used to identify you and are not used in credit scoring. This information is updated from the information you supply to lenders when applying for loans.
  2. Trade Lines (Credit Accounts)
    Trade lines are the credit accounts open under your name. Lenders report on the accounts you have opened with them on a regular basis. The Trade Lines section will show the type of account that is opened (credit card, mortgage, car loan, etc…), the credit limit on the account or loan amount, the account balance, and your payment history.
  3. Credit Inquiries
    Whenever you apply for a loan, you authorize the lender to request a copy of your credit report. This generates a credit report inquiry and that inquiry then appears on your credit report. The Credit Inquires section is, essentially, a list of all the lenders that have accessed your credit report in the past two years. Note that the report lists both “voluntary” inquiries (ones that you have requested as part of a request for credit), and “involuntary” inquiries (ones that have been generated by a lender that wants to make an offer to you such as a pre-approved credit card that you receive in the mail).
  4. Public Record Items and Collection Items
    Public record information is collected by credit reporting agencies as well as information on past due debts from collection agencies. Public record information that is collected includes foreclosures, repossessions, bankruptcies, suits, wage attachments, judgments, and liens.

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