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Report Advice

Your credit report is a snapshot of your credit history that contains information about how much debt you have, how much credit is available to you, and whether or not you make your payments on time. It also contains identifying information and public records, including liens and bankruptcies. Credit reports are used by lenders to make decisions about creditworthiness.

What is Included in a Credit Report?

  • Identifying Information: your full name and any variations you’ve used, current and past addresses, your Social Security number, employer information, and (if applicable) your spouse’s name
  • Public Records: including bankruptcies, tax liens, and civil judgments
  • Debts and Payment History: debts you currently owe, such as mortgages, credit cards, and auto loans, and your payment history for those accounts
  • Recent Inquiries: a list of anyone who has recently inquired about your credit history

Separating Credit Reports of Father and Son

August 17, 2013

Dear Experian, How do you go about repairing credit when it has been commingled with your son? Both father and son have the same name. - ILB

Tax Liens and Credit Scores

August 17, 2013

Dear Experian, I have a tax lien on my credit report. I know it isn't mine. It belongs to a relative that was living with me. I am having it...

Find Out Who Has Looked at Your Credit and Why

August 16, 2013

Dear Experian, I got a call from Sallie Mae telling me someone had pulled my credit report. How do I find out who that was and why? - TDO

FCRA Restricts Who Can Get Your Credit Report

August 16, 2013

Dear Experian, Who can access my credit report? Do they have to have my permission? Is there anything you can do to prevent someone from accessing my credit report? - NNH

How Long it Takes for Your Credit Score to Change

August 16, 2013

Dear Experian, How long after negative information is removed will it take for your credit score to go back up? When viewing your credit report, can a business see if...

Disputed Information and Other Credit Agencies

August 16, 2013

Dear Experian, If one credit agency deletes a record because my dispute was favorable; how does that get reported to the other agencies, or does it? Do I send a...

The Difference Between “Closed” and “Paid-in-Full”

August 15, 2013

Dear Experian, Some of my accounts that are paid in full show “closed” instead of “paid in full.” Does this hurt my credit rating? If my account is paid...

U.S. Credit History Will Not Transfer to Canada

August 14, 2013

Dear Experian, I am a citizen of both the U.S. and Canada. I currently reside in the U.S., but I plan to move with my family back to Canada. Will...

Explain a Charge Off or Collection

August 14, 2013

Dear Experian, Can I include a letter in my credit report to explain a charge off or collection? - SMB

Voluntary Surrender vs. Repossession

August 13, 2013

Dear Experian, If I voluntarily surrender my car to the financial institution carrying the loan, will it make a difference on my credit report? Or, is it a repossession no...

Small Claims Judgments Reported to Credit Bureaus

August 13, 2013

Dear Experian, I am a landlord that has been awarded a small claims judgment in excess of $5,000. Can this be reported to a credit bureau, if so how? - RDT

How Long Paid Public Records Remain on Your Report

August 13, 2013

Dear Experian, Why is there still a public record on my account that has been paid off for four and a half years? - NDR