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Do you know your credit report facts?

What is a Credit Report? Your personal credit report contains details about your identity and financial behavior. This user-friendly report is sometimes called a credit file or a credit history. Experian® collects and organizes data about your credit history from your creditor's and public records. We make your credit report available to current and prospective creditors, employers and others as permitted by law, which may speed up your ability to get credit.

What's in a Credit Report?

Accounts

Accounts in your credit report can include credit cards, retail credit cards, real estate loans, installment loans, such as auto loans, and collection accounts. Your creditors report different information to the credit bureaus and may also provide their contact information in your credit report. 90% of the credit score calculation is based on how you manage your different accounts as reported by your creditors.

View the types of information reported on credit reports

  • 30 Days Late: If you missed a scheduled payment on an account by 30 days, the creditor may report you as 30 Days Late.
  • 60 Days Late: If you missed a scheduled payment on an account by 60 days, the creditor may report you as 60 Days Late.
  • 90 Days Late: If you missed a scheduled payment on an account by 90 days, the creditor may report you as 90 Days Late.
  • 120 Days Late: If you missed a scheduled payment on an account by 120 days, the creditor may report you as 120 Days Late.
  • Account #: The reference number used to identify the account.
  • Account Name: The name of the creditor that holds the account.
  • Account Status: A brief message describing the open/closed status of the account.
  • Account Type: The type of the account.
  • Address: The address for the creditor associated with the record.
  • Balance: The balance owed on the account.
  • Balloon Payment: If the account has a large final payment as a part of the terms, the amount of that payment is displayed.
  • Comments: Comments or notes appended to the account by the creditor holding the account, or by the credit bureau.
  • Credit Limit: The amount of money available to borrow on a credit or retail card account.
  • Data Unavailable: The company did not provide any information for this period.
  • Date Open: The date the account was opened.
  • Failed to Pay: If you missed a scheduled payment on an account by a long duration, the creditor may report you as Failed to Pay. Creditors will typically do this after 120 or 180 days of delinquency, and usually close the account when they do so.
  • High Balance: The highest reported balance on the account.
  • Last Updated: The last date the account information was updated by the creditor.
  • Monthly Payment: The minimum required payment on the account according to the creditor holding the account.
  • OK: A scheduled payment was made for that specific month as reported by the creditor.
  • Original Creditor: If the account was bought or sold, the name of the creditor who originally held the account displays here.
  • Ownership: Also known as the ECOA, the relationship you have with the account. For example, "Signer", or "Co-Signer".
  • Past Due Amount: The balance currently reported as past-due by the creditor holding the account.
  • Payment Status: A brief message describing your payment history with a specific account.
  • Phone: The phone number for the creditor associated with the record.
  • Terms: A brief message describing the terms of payment established with the account.

Inquiries

Hard inquiries are the result of your application for credit or other services, and stay on your credit report for 25 months. These type of inquiries can represent additional debt that doesn't yet appear as an account in your credit report, and this potential new debt is an indicator of risk, so a recent inquiry can have a small impact on credit scores. 10% of the credit score calculation is based on how often you try to apply for new lines of credit.

The second type of inquiry is known as a "soft" inquiry because it does not affect lending decisions or credit scores. These type of inquiries appear only on your personal credit report and are not shared with anyone else, including potential creditors. A soft inquiry can include getting copies of your own credit report, purchasing a credit score and credit report for yourself, preapproved credit offers, inquiries for insurance and employment purposes, and inquiries made by your existing lenders for account review purposes.

Public Records

Public Records are financial accounts in your credit report attributed to legal actions such as bankruptcies, tax liens, and court judgments. They do not include information like arrests, misdemeanors, or other non-financial situations. These types of records on your credit report damages your credit score.

  • Bankruptcy: Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a person repays at least a portion of their debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains in your credit report for 7 years from the filing date. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person does not repay any of the debts included in the filing. Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains in your credit report for 10 years from the filing date.
  • Tax Lien: This results from failure to pay your taxes in most cases. An unpaid tax lien will remain on your credit report for up to 10 years from the filing date. A paid tax lien is deleted 7 years from the date it is paid.
  • Civil Judgements: This results from a debt you owe through the courts as a result of a lawsuit. Once paid, this record will be updated to show that fact.

How often is my credit report updated? In general, creditors forward information to the credit reporting agencies monthly. The day of the month that each individual creditor sends updates varies. In other words, we might receive an update from creditor A on the first of every month and from creditor B on the 11th of every month, etc. This is why it's important to have access to your credit report every day.

How to dispute credit report information: Start with a copy of your Experian credit report. If you don't have one, order online for immediate report and dispute access. While viewing your credit report online you'll be able to dispute any incorrect information. You can dispute without a credit report by writing to Experian’s National Consumer Assistance Center, P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013, or by submitting your dispute and uploading any supporting documents at experian.com/upload.

Experian is the leading global information services company. For more than a decade, Experian has been America's number one provider of credit information. Experian is the market leader, delivering more than 500,000 credit reports to consumers each month. We continually help individuals to check their credit report and credit score as well as protect against identity theft.

* The credit monitoring benefit may only be available for 5 days during your trial period since enrollment can take up to 48 hours. You may cancel your trial membership any time during your first 7 days without charge.

Calculated on the PLUS Score model, your Experian Credit Score indicates your relative credit risk level for educational purposes and is not the score used by lenders. Learn More.

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