You might be surprised to learn how many people confuse a credit report with a credit score and vice versa. However, your credit report and your credit score are not interchangeable. Over the next three weeks, we’ll talk about your credit report, your credit score, and the differences between them. Today, we’re taking a look at your credit report, what it is, and what you can expect to be on it.
A credit report is a history of your debt management with three credit bureaus keeping this record, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Your credit report records every credit card and the debt you have accumulated throughout your life. This report also shows your payment history, late payments, and loans paid in full. If payments are late, the report shows how late the payment was made, up to 90 days. Other public records events are recorded in your credit report as well, such as bankruptcies, foreclosures, repossessions, or collections. Here are additional facts appearing on your credit report.
Credit Accounts will Be Reported as Either Paid-in-Full or Closed
Whether a credit card or a personal loan, your credit report will show the status of these accounts, either paid-in-full or closed. The difference between these two statuses will show what accounts might still be open and paid off, instead of paid off and closed. Reports can also show accounts closed at the consumer’s request. This status could be viewed favorably or unfavorably by certain lenders. Ideally, lenders are looking for those who are responsible with their money and have few to no outstanding late payments.
Car Loans, Home Loans, Student Loans, Installment and Personal Loans
Credit card debt is not the only debt shown on a credit report. Many types of loans are reported there, from car loans to home loans, from student loans to personal loans. The payment statuses are also reflected, showing late payments, the number of payments made, and whether or not they have been paid off. Also recorded is responsibility for the debt’s repayment. If you are a sole proprietor, a business loan or business credit card you have taken out will likely appear on your credit. Additionally, if your spouse has open credit cards and you are an authorized user on the account, you are not personally responsible for credit; it is your spouse’s responsibility. In other words, even if an account appears on your report, you may not have a responsibility to pay the debt.
Impacts of Incorrect Information
By requesting your credit report, you will be able to take note of any incorrect information the reporting agencies have listed. This data could be an old address where you no longer reside or an incorrect address on file. A report will allow you to take the necessary steps to update your information, as your current address should be reflected on your credit report.
Pinpoint Potential Identity Theft
If your purse or wallet is stolen, you can check your credit report to determine whether or not someone opened fraudulent new lines in your name. If so, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to close these accounts and have them removed from the report altogether. This request can be made by preparing a dispute letter for Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, along with an identity theft report from the police. You do not want to have fraudulent activity remaining on your report to affect your credit when it can be removed by taking appropriate action.
Regarding Your Credit Report
A convenient way to think of your credit report is like a school transcript. It tells of everything you’ve ever done with your credit throughout your lifetime. This gives lenders a clearer picture of how you manage your money and whether or not you’re responsible by paying back credit cards or loans on time. It also helps you take a look at your own credit history and fix errors or spot fraudulent activity.
To check the status of your credit report, the three big credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, are allowing weekly credit reports for free until April 22, 2022, through the website, AnnualCreditReport.com.
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