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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

Recent Late Payments Hurt Credit Scores the Most

December 4, 2013

Dear Experian, Why has my credit score dropped 42 points? There is a late payment on one of my cards which has since been brought current, and four of my...

Creditors Can Request to Remove Accounts from Credit Report

November 20, 2013

Dear Experian, Can a creditor request to remove an account from my credit report? Also, how long would it take for the removal to take effect? - JKJ

Voluntary Repossession Can Damage Credit Scores

November 20, 2013

Dear Experian, I am trying to trade-in my car; however, I am upside down on my current car loan. If I trade it, my payments will be really high. The...

Account Updates Will Not Change When Account is Deleted

November 20, 2013

Dear Experian, If a negative item is past seven years on my report and the creditor updates it, will it ever come off my report? - JCP

Changing Your Address on Your Credit Report

October 30, 2013

Dear Experian, How do I change my address on my credit report? - GLP

The Meaning of “Key Derogatory” as a Credit Score Factor

October 9, 2013

Dear Experian, What does "Key Derogatory” mean? - RTC

How to Request a Credit Report when Incarcerated

October 9, 2013

Dear Experian, How does an inmate go about getting a credit report? Where can he get the proper forms to fill out without access to the internet? - NTP

How Long to Recover Credit After Paying a Tax Lien

September 12, 2013

Dear Experian, I am currently paying off a state tax lien. After the tax lien has been paid in full, how long will it take for my credit to be...

Can Individual Taxpayer ID Number Be Used on Credit Report

September 12, 2013

Dear Experian, I’m trying to request a dispute on my credit report, but it asks me for a credit report number. I have tried to request my annual free report...

Late Payments on Credit Report after Declaring Bankruptcy

September 12, 2013

Dear Experian, How can I get late payments removed for items that were included in bankruptcy? - NPN

Sharing a Merged Report with a Mortgage Customer

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, Is it now OK to release a customer’s tri-merge report to the customer? The tri-merged report was pulled to apply for a home loan through the seller and...

Car Accidents Do Not Affect Your Credit Report

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, Does having a car accident hurt your credit score? - OYD

Credit Challenges When You Share a Name

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, I am writing from an employee assistance program company. We help employees find answers and resources to deal with various personal problems. An employee from one of our...

Not Just Anyone Can Get Your Credit Report

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, Can anyone obtain a credit report on anyone else if they are not a lending company of any kind? There is an argument going on a message board...

Bankruptcy and Tax Liens

September 10, 2013

Dear Experian, I have a client who filed for bankruptcy over 10 years ago. The bankruptcy is no longer showing on his credit report but the state and federal tax...

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