How to Read a Credit Report

A Credit Report includes personal information about your identity. This includes your name, home address, social security number, birth date and may contain employment details. In addition, it contains existing credit information (credit cards, car loans, student loans, mortgage information, etc.), public records (tax liens, court judgments, etc.) and inquiries (and who they are from).


Identifying Section

Includes name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and employment info. This section is only used for identifying the individual, not for scoring purposes.

Trade Lines Section

An individual’s credit accounts, listing each lenders and account that they have with the lender. It also identifies account type (auto, mortgage, boat, etc.) bankcard, open date, credit limit, balance and payment history.

Inquiries Section

Each time an individual applies for a loan or credit, they authorize the lender to request a copy of their credit report. When this happens, a new inquiry appears on the individual’s credit report and remain for 24 months. This shows everyone that has accessed the individuals credit report over a 24-month period. Inquiries may be voluntary or involuntary, both show up on an individual’s credit report.

Public Records/ Collections Section

There are many Credit Reporting Agencies that collect information from public records. This is information from the Court Systems, collection agencies, tax liens, bankruptcies, foreclosures, law suits, wage garnishments, other liens and judgments.

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