What's a Credit Report?

The credit system is about the use of your personal information by businesses for profit. Consider the fact that the big 3 Credit Bureaus each earn over $4 Billion per year by selling your personal information.

The more you understand the credit system, the more you control the use of your credit information to your benefit.

For a thorough understanding of how to read a credit report, fill out the form below to download your FREE Credit Report Guide.

The Basics


Now let's start with the basics. What's a credit report? A credit report (also called a credit history) is a record of how you have borrowed and repaid debts. The big 3 credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) have accumulated a credit history for almost every adult in America. Some have estimated over 205 million people in America have a credit history on file with at least one of the credit bureaus.

Your report contains the history and status of your credit accounts. It also contains basic personal information about you like your social security number, birth date, current and former addresses, and your current and previous employment.

Your credit history lists basic information about each of your credit accounts like:

  • the date you opened the account
  • the type of account (i.e. real estate, revolving (credit card), or installment (auto loan)
  • whether the account is currently open or has been closed
  • the monthly payment
  • the maximum type of credit limit
  • the latest activity on the account
  • the current balance
  • high balance and
  • any amounts past due

Each of your accounts include a code that explains whether your account is current, 30 days past due, 60 days past due, or 90 days past due, or if the account involves a repossession, charge off, or other collection activity.

Your credit history also includes the addresses and telephone numbers of your creditors and other furnishers of information about you.

Your report will show accounts that have been turned over to collection agencies. In addition, your credit history will include certain public records information, such as court judgments, garnishments, tax liens, foreclosures, and bankruptcies.

As you probably already know, creditors will purchase your reports from the credit bureaus to review in deciding whether to grant you credit or not.

Also, employers will review your credit history in making employment and promotion decisions. Insurance companies will even pull your credit history to calculate your insurance premiums.

Finally, the information contained in your credit history is used by FICO Scoring, Vantage Scoring, and PLUS scoring to calculate your credit scores. So it is very important that you learn how to read credit reports and monitor your credit history regularly. You can get your reports free at least once every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com

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