What is on Your Credit Report

While each of the three main consumer reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) vary their credit report formats a bit, they all include six general sections:

  1. Your identifying information (Name, social security number, addresses, phone numbers, possibly your current or past employers).
  2. Your debts and credit accounts from the past seven to ten years, also known as your Trade Lines. Your trade lines might be split into two or three sub-sections, including Potentially Negative or Adverse accounts (such as collections, charged off accounts, and accounts with late payments listed), Accounts in Good Standing and possibly a stand-alone section listing collections.
  3. The Public Records section, which, since 2018, only lists any bankruptcies you have filed in the past seven to ten years. It used to list judgments and tax liens, but this is no longer the case.
  4. The inquiries section lists all organizations that are looking at your credit reports and is divided into two main sub-sections. The Active or Hard inquiries section lists all creditors with whom you have applied for a loan, line of credit or account in the past two years. The Soft or Passive inquiries section lists anyone else who has looked at your credit report in the past two years. The soft inquiries might be divided into two additional subsections: the account review inquiries section lists companies with whom you have a business relationship (such as a lender or insurance company), while the promotional inquiries section lists companies who might consider sending you a promotional offer in the mail (such as a credit card or car insurance offer). Companies listed in the soft inquiries sections are not visible to anyone other than you.
  5. The Consumer Statement section allows you to add a very brief explanation of anything on your report. We usually recommend that you only explain inaccurate information that you may struggle to get removed or corrected. Examples include issues resulting from identity theft or recurring name confusion.
  6. Credit reports include a section at the end that explains your legal rights and how to dispute inaccurate information.

Have you ever wondered about other information that seems like it should be on your credit report? Find out if it is based on myths or not by sticking with us for the next part of this course on items that are not on your credit report.

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