Understanding Credit Report Files
What Your Credit Report Really Discloses About You!

Understanding Credit Report Files, If you have ever used or even applied for credit, the credit bureau's will most likely have a file on you. They compete with each other, and do not share information, so the contents of each credit bureau's file may be somewhat different.

It is important to get copies of all three. Some outside companies offer a merged credit report showing all of the information held by all of the bureaus.

While the formats are different, all of the credit bureaus list the same types of items.

Understanding Credit Report Files: The 5 Things You Must Know!

  1. Identification information: Your full name, last two addresses, Social Security number, date of birth, and place of employment if the credit bureau has received that information. Length of employment and income are typically not reported, but watch the former if it is reported, because it often is incorrect.

    Creditors will sometimes reject an application because they can't confirm employment. If you are self-employed, credit bureaus may have you listed as unemployed, which should be corrected immediately that's why understanding credit report files, is so important.

  2. Detailed information on the accounts listed: Name of the issuer, date account was opened, original balance or limit, current balance (beginning with the reporting date, which is also listed), terms of account, and the current status of each account.

    This leaves little room for guessing. It also leaves little room for paying a delinquent account and therefore changing your status so you are cleared. An example is CO NOW PAY, which means that the account was a charge off (CO) but you are now paying (NOW PAY).

  3. Public record information: Bankruptcies, tax liens, judgments and other legal filings.
  4. Credit report requests: Each time a creditor requests a copy of your report, it is recorded in your report and it stays on your record for up to one year. This addition is non-evaluated by the bureau, but it can be seen as negative if you have too many inquiries with no subsequent accounts opened.

    Creditors who see this will assume you were turned down, even though there are other explanations for the inquiries.

  5. Consumer statement: Finally, there is space on the report for you to place a consumer statement. This allows you to challenge or explain any creditor entry in your file in your own words.

Understanding Credit Report Files Additional Information:

The status of each item is sometimes indicated by a complicated code system that signifies exactly what has happened to the account.

Your credit report includes a comprehensive listing of all credit granters and other individuals who have received a copy of your credit report. In addition, lists of companies that have received your name and address in order to offer you credit are also included in your credit report.

To help improve your credit report, always remember to pay your bills on time, never use all of your available credit, and only apply for credit you really need.

Understanding Credit Report Files. What Your Credit Report Really Discloses About You!

Understanding Credit Report Files. Your credit payment history is recorded in a file or report. These files or reports are maintained and sold by consumer reporting agencies (CRAs). One type of CRA is commonly known as a credit bureau.

You have a credit record on file at a credit bureau if you have ever applied for a credit or charge account, a personal loan, insurance or a job. Your credit record contains information about your income, debts and credit payment history. It also indicates whether you have been sued, arrested or have filed for bankruptcy.

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Disclosure: I am an independent Credit Repair Cloud™ Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from Credit Repair Cloud. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of Credit Repair Cloud.