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:: What Kind of Information Appears on the Credit Report?

Identifying Information

Items such as your name, any aliases, current and previous addresses, social security number, possibly marital status.

Merchant Trade Lines or Credit Lines

These include all regular installment or revolving credit lines such as department store cards, auto loans, mortgages, and credit cards. If you have any history of late payment or if the credit account was included in a bankruptcy, charged off, or put into repossession, the listing will be considered negative or derogatory by all credit grantors.

NOTE: Not all credit accounts may be listed on your credit report since not every credit grantor reports to the same credit bureaus. In addition, not all credit grantors report every credit account to the credit bureaus. For a thorough review of your credit file, you should look at information from all three major credit bureaus.

Collection Accounts

When any credit account is referred to a collection agency or the collections department of a credit grantor because of delinquency, non-payment, or other reason, it shows on the credit report as a collection account. Collection accounts can appear as paid or unpaid accounts. Any account that shows as a collection account (whether paid or not) is considered very negative by credit grantors.

Court Records

Court records include bankruptcies, judgments, satisfied judgments, liens, satisfied liens, and divorce. Most court records, including satisfied liens and/or judgments, are considered very negative by credit grantors.

Inquiries

Each time you apply for credit and a potential credit grantor looks at your credit file, an "inquiry" appears on at least one of your credit bureau files. Inquiries can also appear when an existing credit grantor reviews your credit periodically (to increase your credit line, etc.), or when you review your own credit report. These requests for your credit report are noted as part of your credit history file and can remain for 24 months.

However, a credit grantor may find what it considers "excessive inquiries," and reject your credit application. There are no guidelines or laws that govern the number of inquiries that constitute "excessive." It is each credit grantor's decision. Credit grantors usually reject applications for this reason when they see several inquiries but no new credit. They would rather be safe than sorry. Some companies make unauthorized inquiries to check your credit. Protect yourself from unauthorized inquiries by not giving out your personal information to a merchant (including addresses and drivers licenses) until you are ready to actually apply for credit.

What's Not Included

Your credit report will not include information about your race, salary history, religion, checking or savings accounts, stocks and bonds, medical history, personal assets, criminal record or personal background and lifestyle.




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