What Kind of Information Is On Your Credit Report?

Your Credit Report - What's On It and How Does It Get There

Your credit report is an ongoing look at your personal information and how you manage your finances. Data is typically submitted to a credit reporting agency by your creditors, by the court system or from other public records, and by debt collection agencies.

Once a notation is made on your report, it doesn't drop off for awhile. That's not a problem for positive entries, but negative comments by your creditors can affect your buying power for several years.

If the comments are accurate, they can stay on your report for seven years. Bankruptcies can remain on your report for ten.

Personal Information on Your Credit Report
These items are not used to evaluate your credit history. They are gathered from information you give to your creditors.

  • Full name and variations of it (such as maiden names)
  • Social security number
  • Birth date
  • Current and previous addresses
  • Current and past places of employment
  • Driver's license number and state where issued

Public Records and Collection Accounts
Data is collected from the court system and from debt collection agencies.

  • Liens and judgments
  • Bankruptcies
  • Foreclosures
  • Wage attachments
  • Accounts in collection

Your Credit History & Current Obligations
Reported by your creditors.

  • Dates accounts were opened
  • Types of accounts (revolving, installment loan, mortgage)
  • Account balances and credit limits
  • Payment history for each account, including late payments
  • Unpaid child support and overdrawn checking accounts can also be listed

Credit Inquiries

  • Inquiries made when you are seeking new credit; too many inquiries in a short time are viewed negatively
  • Inquiries made for promotional mailings, by your current creditors, and by yourself for informational purposes; these inquiries are not viewed negatively

    Your Credit Score
    Your credit score is a number that's generated by analyzing your entire credit profile. Scores range from 340 to 850. The higher your score, the less risk a lender assumes you will be.

    Credit Reporting Agencies

    There are three major credit reporting agencies in the United States. Creditors submit your payment history and personal information to these agencies.

    Each agency operates independently of the other two, so records often differ. Corrections and updates to your file must be sent to each credit reporting agency, because they do not share information.

    The Next Step... Checking Your Credit Report