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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

Inquiries can have small impact on credit scores

April 11, 2012

Dear Experian, I haven’t had negative activity on my credit report for over two years, and my score was recently 674. I applied for a credit card, and they did...

How Long Late Payments Stay on Credit Report

April 11, 2012

Dear Experian, How long does a negative payment status of "Paid, Past due 30 days" remain on my credit report? The item in question occurred in March 2006, while I...

Tax Liens Not Discharged Through Bankruptcy

March 28, 2012

Dear Experian, I filed bankruptcy in 2002 because of divorce. It was discharged with zero assets and zero liabilities. A 1996 Michigan state tax lien still remains on my credit...

Late Payments Not Deleted After Account Paid Off

March 14, 2012

Dear Experian, I have paid off an account that previously had a late payment mark on my record. Is there any possible way to remove the negative mark on my...

Renewing Pre-Approved Loan Could Cause Hard Inquiry

March 14, 2012

Dear Experian, I applied and was approved for an auto loan through my credit union, which I have numerous accounts with - mortgage, savings, money markets, and credit cards. Twice...

Removing Inquiries for Multiple Loan Applications

February 29, 2012

Dear Experian, While looking for a new car the auto dealer shopped the best rate for a loan, generating seven or eight hard credit inquiries, which have dropped my score....

The Impact of Requesting Lower Credit Limits

February 1, 2012

Dear Experian, If I lower my credit limits on my credit cards, does that lower my credit score? If so, why? - PGR

What Derogatory Means on Your Credit Report

January 18, 2012

Dear Experian, What does “derogatory” mean when it shows up on my credit reports? - JUA

Closed Accounts Stay on Your Credit Report

January 18, 2012

Dear Experian, I printed my and my husband's credit reports. There are accounts that have been closed for years, but a note says they will remain on the report for...

Mistakenly Reported as Deceased

December 21, 2011

Dear Experian, I am listed as deceased on my credit history. How can I change that? - CAG

Paid Court Judgments on Your Credit Report

December 7, 2011

Dear Experian, I was told by the circuit court that Experian would have to come in and pull the satisfied judgment in order to remove it from my records. Is...

Settling a Debt Will Hurt Your Credit Score

December 7, 2011

Dear Experian, Does it hurt my credit score if I settle my account? - EWH

Steps for Removing a Tax Lien Filed in Error

November 23, 2011

Dear Experian, I had a lien on my account in 1999 from the state of South Carolina for payroll tax. I have a letter from them stating that the lien...

Inquiries from Utilities on Your Credit Report

November 23, 2011

Dear Experian, How do inquiries from utility, cable television/internet, cellular telephone and residential rentals impact credit scores since payment histories are never reported? - MDB

What Does “Charge off” Mean on Credit Report

November 23, 2011

Dear Experian, What is a "charge off," and what does it mean? - TPA

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