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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

Updating the Address on Your Credit Report When Moving

August 29, 2013

Dear Experian, I recently purchased a house. My address has been changed with the bank, DMV, USPS, etc. However, I tried to get a new cell phone and was told...

You Can “fix” Your Credit Report without Help

August 23, 2013

Dear Experian, This is the first time in a long time that I am daring to try to fix my credit report. Can I fix it myself, or do I...

Inquiry for Employment will Not Affect Credit Scores

August 20, 2013

Dear Experian, I have been applying for work at employment agencies. They want my permission to conduct a credit check. My concern is that I was told in the past...

How to Find Out Who is Checking Your Credit Report

August 20, 2013

Dear Experian, How do I know who is checking my credit reports? Can anyone check my credit? Do you keep a list of these people? I think my neighbor knows...

Vehicle Repossession can Prevent Approval for Mortgage

August 20, 2013

Dear Experian, Can a vehicle repossession affect your credit bad enough to prevent you from being able to purchase a new home? - SHA

Day Late Payment Likely Won’t Show on Credit Report

August 20, 2013

Dear Experian, I mailed one payment late because I forgot about it, and when I remembered it was one day late. How bad will that look? - XOB

One Inquiry Can Be “Too Many”

August 20, 2013

Dear Experian, I am confused as to why I have only one inquiry on my report but all three bureaus say “too many inquiries last 12 months." Is this affecting...

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

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...

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