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What Goes on Your Credit Report (And What Doesn’t)

what goes on your credit reportWhen you apply for a loan, line of credit, or apply to rent an apartment, your potential lender or landlord will pull your credit report. This report shows them whether or not you’re a trustworthy borrower. What goes on your credit report? ACCC explains.

What goes on your credit report?

Your credit report lists all of your credit accounts. This can include credit cards, student loans, auto loans, personal loans, and mortgages. Your credit report details your payment history on these accounts, as well as new inquiries too. A hard inquiry appears on your credit report any time you apply for new credit. If you have any accounts in collections, these will also show up on your credit report. It also shows some of your personal information, like your current and past addresses, date of birth, and public records.

What isn’t on your credit report?

While there is a lot of personal and financial information on your credit report, it doesn’t show all of your bills or bank account information. For example, it doesn’t show your income, bank account balance, on-time phone or utility bills, or anything paid with cash or check. It also doesn’t show demographic information, like race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. Interestingly, another piece of information that is not on your credit report is your credit score. You have to check your credit score separately.

How long does negative information stay on your credit report?

If you have negative information on your credit report, unfortunately, it may stay there for a while. Most negative information will remain there for seven years, and some types of bankruptcies may stay for up to ten years. Keep in mind, no one can remove accurate and timely information from your credit report. If there is a company contacting you saying that they can, it is a scam. Don’t give them any money or personal information!

How can you check your credit report?

You can check your credit report online using AnnualCreditReport.com. They allow you to check your credit reports from each of the three major bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) once a year. However, due to COVID-19, they are now allowing consumers to check their credit reports once a week for free until April.

If you plan to apply for a new loan or credit card soon, it’s a good idea to check your credit report to make sure there are no surprises. When you check it, ensure all the information is up to date and correct. If you find any suspicious activity, this may be a sign of fraud or identity theft. In that case, contact the police to report the fraud and put a freeze on your credit accounts.

 

ABOUT AUTHOR / Madison

Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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