The information contained in credit reports can vary. However, most credit reports show the same basic categories of information. Your credit report may contain information about the following:
Identification and employment data
Your name, birthday, address, Social Security number, employer's name, and spouse's name are usually included. This information is used to identify you, and is not used in calculating a credit score.
Your account record with different creditors will be shown, including how much credit you have been given and how you've paid it back, such as whether you've been late making payments. An overdue account that has been passed on to a collection agency may also be on your credit report.
As of September 1, 2017, medical debt is not reported until 6 months has passed from the payment due date. This change gives you time to work with your insurance company to resolve any disputes before they can affect your credit record. If the insurance company pays the debt later, it won't appear on your credit report either. These changes should help decrease errors that affect your credit report.
Credit bureaus must maintain a record of all creditors who have requested your credit report. These inquiries may be shown on your credit report. The length of time that that inquiry will be displayed there can vary, but typically is no more than 2 years.
Public record information
Events that are matters of public record and are related to your creditworthiness may also appear in your report. Such public records can include items such as bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens, or civil judgments (court actions where you were ordered to pay someone money.
As of July 1, 2017, the "Big 3" credit bureaus - Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion - announced that they have decided to no longer report some tax lien and civil judgment information. So this information may or may not appear on your credit report after that date, even if it previously did.
Other information included in a credit report
You may see some other information on your credit report as well, including some codes and terms that may be unfamiliar.
Code to identify the creditor
Numbers under the creditor's name, such as "B 12-345", are codes a credit bureau uses to identify the creditor.
Whether the credit report is automated or manual
The terms AUTOMATED or MANUAL identify the kind of data source used by the creditor. In an actual report, the initials A or M may be used instead.
Installment, revolving, and open 30-day payment arrangements
The words Installment, Revolving and Open 30-day are types of payment arrangements. In an actual report, the initials I, R or O may be used instead. Following are descriptions of each type of payment arrangement:
- Installment credit agreement: A consumer signs a contract to repay a fixed amount of credit in equal payments over a specified period of time. Automobiles, furniture and major appliances are often paid for in installments. Personal loans are usually repaid in installments as well.
- Revolving credit agreement: A consumer has the option to repay the full amount each month or make a minimum payment instead. Department stores, gas and oil companies, and banks typically issue credit cards based on a revolving credit plan.
- Open 30-day agreement: A consumer promises to repay the full balance owed each month. Travel and entertainment charge cards and charge accounts with local businesses often require repayment on this basis.
Mistakes on your credit report
If you see a mistake on your credit report, it's very important that you dispute the information so that the issue can be investigated and resolved. Having inaccurate information on your credit report can have many negative consequences, such as denial of a loan application. To understand how to get mistakes on your credit report fixed, see Fixing a mistake on your credit report.
Updated: November 2017