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Credit Scores and Reports

Credit report sample: How to read, understand a credit report

Sample credit report shows examples of common features

Summary

This interactive guide displays an example of a personal credit report and explains how each part works.

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You can get a free credit report, but do you know how to read and understand it? This interactive guide will help you determine the most effective way to acquire your report and how to read and understand it once you receive it.

One free report every 12 months

Everyone is entitled by law to look at their credit report from each of the three credit bureaus free of charge once every 12 months, or you can buy a credit report from each of the three bureaus if you want to view your report more often.

The three large U.S. credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – were required by a 2003 federal law to set up AnnualCreditReport.com as a central online resource for report requests. You can also request your reports by calling 877-322-8228 or by downloading a request form and mailing it to:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Upon visiting AnnualCreditReport.com, users are directed to a form page and asked to provide personal identifying information, including name and address, Social Security number and date of birth.

After submitting your basic information, you go to a page allowing you to select reports from the three large credit bureaus by checking boxes next to the Equifax, Experian and TransUnion logos. You can select one or all of the credit bureaus. Instructions discuss whether you should review all three reports immediately, or whether you should spread the requests over a period of time.

The next step is designed to verify your identity. A page of questions appears about your creditors, loan terms or other details on the credit report that you’re expected to know. You need to select the correct answers get access to the credit report. The AnnualCredit.Report.com site is integrated with the websites of the credit bureaus, making the transition from one to the other seamless. After requesting one report, you may return to the main site to repeat the process with another credit bureau.

If you use up your free credit report and want to check again for some reason, you can pay about $20 for each report. Or, you can get a free TransUnion credit report from CreditCards.com.

Sample credit report

Many consumers have a difficult time understanding their credit reports and piecing the three reports together, so here are examples and explanations of the most common elements that appear in each of the three free credit bureau reports.


Personal information Personal information

Personal information is identifying information about the credit report requestor. Experian and TransUnion include this information at the beginning of your credit report, while Equifax puts it at the end of its report.

Name: JOE Q. CONSUMER
Other names: CONSUMER, JOSEPH Q.
Report number: XXXXXXX Report number

A report number is generated by the three credit reporting agencies as a reference for consumers to use if they should need to contact the issuing bureau. Note this number when you need to contact Equifax, Experian or TransUnion online, by phone or by mail.

Report date: April 4, 2017

SSN: XXX-XX-6789 Social security number

During the AnnualCreditReport.com signup process, you can choose to have the report display your entire Social Security number or — to protect your identity — just the last four digits.

Date of birth: 04/1965
Telephone number(s): 917-555-1212

CURRENT ADDRESS: Current address

Check to make sure your address information is accurate.

123 MAIN ST., NEW YORK, NY 12345

PREVIOUS ADDRESSES:
17 BROOKLYN AVE., LONG ISLAND, NY 56789
EMPLOYMENT DATA REPORTED Employment data reported

Only some employers will report your employment information to one or all of the credit bureaus. Don’t panic if all your employment information is not recorded on this report. You can contact the individual credit bureaus to correct misreported employment data.

Employer name: CREDITCARDS.COM
Location: New York, NY
Date reported: 06/2012
Employer name: UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
Location: TX
Date reported: 08/2008

Position: PROGRAMMER
Hired: 05/2011
Position:
Hired: 03/2007

 


Public records Public records

Public records are court judgments, wage garnishments, liens and bankruptcy files that may be reported to the credit bureaus.

ROCKWELL MUNICIPAL Docket#: 9B004875
 5468 MLK AVE., SUITE 300, ROCKWELL, TX 97845Type: Civil judgment
Court type: Municipal
Date paid: 07/2012
Assets: $1,089
Date filed: 12/2011
Responsibility: Participant on account
Plaintiff: BANK OF TEXAS
Plaintiff attorney: RICHARD PERRY
Amount: $1,089
Estimated date that this item will be removed 07/2019 Date removal

Only TransUnion includes an estimate for the date that a public record will be removed from your credit report.


Adverse accounts, potentially negative items Negative items

Adverse accounts, or potentially negative items, are credit accounts you have opened and have been reported as either unpaid or paid after a due date during one or more months throughout the history of the credit line. Even if you are current on your payments for a credit account, it still may be included in this section of your credit report — if you had ever missed or were late on a payment. All three bureaus allow you to dispute the information in this section if you can prove an error. Adverse accounts should fall off your credit report after 7 years, but you need to be sure that they do by checking your credit reports often and reporting overheld accounts.

COLLECTION RECOVERY SVC #321568
123 CHARLES ST.
SUITE 202
CORONA, CA 92877-0137
(909) 898-4424
Balance: $0
Date verified: 06/2011
Original balance: $243
Original creditor: SEARS ROEBUCK
Credit limit: $500
Past due: $0
Terms: $72 for 23 months
Pay status: Payment after charge off/collection Payment after charge off

Payment status is the current status of your adverse account. In this example, the account was paid in full after being sent to a collection agency.

Account type: Installment account Installment account

An installment account is a fixed line of credit that is paid over a certain period of time. Examples of installment accounts include bank loans, car loans and student loans.

Responsibility: Individual account
Date opened: 03/2008
Date closed: 05/2014
Date paid: 05/2014

Remarks: >Paid collection<
Estimated date that this item will be removed: 05/2021
DONOVAN & WILSON
1045 MAIN ST., SUITE 105
RIVERSIDE, CA 92501
(909) 781-1248
Balance: $12,745
Date updated: 06/2011
Original balance: $15,243
Pay status: 120 days
past due 120 days past due

In this example, the account is currently being reported as 120 days past due.

Account type: Revolving account Revolving account

Revolving accounts are variable lines of credit with interest accrued based on the credit balance. Credit cards are revolving accounts.

Responsibility: Individual account

Estimated date that this item will be removed: 06/2018
The following item is suppressed pending credit grantor update: Suppressed pending credit grantor update

If an item is suppressed on your credit report, it means that the credit reporting agency is withholding the account information from anyone besides you who requests your credit report. In this case, the item is being suppressed until the credit grantor, Discover Financial Services, updates the bureau about information that the bureau requested from them.

DISCOVER FINANCIAL SVC #6053000570658798

123 SMITH AVE.
UNIT 55G
WILMINGTON, DE 19850-5316
Phone number not available
Balance: $2,145
Date updated: 08/2012
High balance: $25,463
Collateral: 2002 Chevy Collateral
Past due: $136
Terms: $68 for 260 months
Pay status: 60 days past due
Account type: Installment account

An installment account is a fixed line of credit that is paid over a certain period of time. Examples of installment accounts include bank loans, car loans and student loans.

Responsibility: Individual account
Date opened: 11/2002

Loan type: Student loan
Remarks: Repossession
Maximum delinquency of 60 days in 07/2012 for $400
Estimated date that this item will be removed: 06/2019

Accounts in good standing, satisfactory accounts Accounts in good standing

Accounts in good standing, or satisfactory accounts, are accounts that have been reported to the credit bureau(s) as paid on time and in full during a reported period of time, typically up to 53 months.

GMAC FINANCING #640006137129
78901 JENKINS CIR
FLOOR 15
MIAMI, FL 33025
Phone number not available
Balance: $1,145
Date updated: 08/2017
High balance: $10,000
Collateral: 2009 Dodge Ram

Collateral is property that the credit account holder uses to secure a line of credit. In this example, a truck loan was granted, and the credit grantee agreed to surrender his truck if he is unable to pay the loan.

Credit limit: $10,000
Past due: $0
Terms: $295 for 36 months

Pay status: Pays as agreed Payment status

Payment status is the current status of your adverse account. In this example, the account is being paid in full each month as agreed to in the credit terms.

Account type: Installment account

An installment account is a fixed line of credit that is paid over a certain period of time. Examples of installment accounts include bank loans, car loans and student loans.

Responsibility: Individual account
Date opened: 11/2013
Date closed: 11/2016
Date paid: 11/2016

Loan type: Automobile
Remarks: Paid by insurance
Estimated date that this item will be removed: 12/2023

Revolving accountsCapital One
CAPITAL ONE
P.O. Box 30281
Salt Lake City, UT 841300281
Account Number:400XXXXXXXXXXXXPayPays as agreed
Account owner:Individual accountHigh credit:$4,304
Type of accountRevolvingCredit limit$10,500
Date opened:06/08/2010Balance:$965

81-month payment historyPersonal information
YearJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010

Historical account informationPersonal information
 03/201702/201701/201712/201611/201610/2016
Balance9651095233611611268950
Scheduled payment amount252525252525
Actual payment amount1095233611611268950744
Date of last payment02/201501/201512/201412/201410/201409/2014
Months before 10/2016 are not shown.

Credit history requests Credit history requests

Credit history requests include creditors who have requested your credit report.

CALTECH EMPLOYEE FCU
555 W. ADAMS
SUITE 202
LA CANADA, CA 91012
(818) 555-1212
Requested on: 11/01/2017
Inquiry type: Individual Inquiry type

The type of inquiry is the scope of credit history requested — whether a person’s credit history or an organization or business’s credit history. In this case, just an individual credit history report was requested.

Permissible purpose: Credit transaction Permissible purpose

Credit bureaus require anyone requesting your credit history to provide the purpose for their credit history query. In this example, the creditor was requesting the credit history when considering whether to extend additional credit to the consumer.

SUNSHINE APARTMENTS via RENTPORT
678 MARINE STREET
SUITE 999
LOS ANGELES, CA 90210
(818) 555-1212
Requested on: 05/01/2016
Inquiry type: Individual
Loan type: Real estate
Permissible purpose: Tenant screening Permissible purpose

Credit bureaus require anyone requesting your credit history to provide the purpose for their credit history query. In this example, the creditor was requesting the credit history for a potential renter.

CHASE CARD MEMBER SVCS
666 W. SMITH
PHOENIX, AZ 87853
Phone number not available
Requested on: 11/01/2016
Inquiry type: Individual

Personal statement Personal statement

A personal statement is a statement the consumer chose to have added to his or her credit report. Personal statements range from fraud alerts to consumer statements about being unemployed. A personal statement is a way for the consumer to add additional explanations about his or her credit history that might not otherwise be discerned from standard credit report information.

ID SECURITY ALERT: FRAUDULENT APPLICATIONS MAY BE SUBMITTED IN MY NAME OR MY IDENTITY MAY HAVE BEEN USED WITHOUT MY CONSENT TO FRAUDULENTLY OBTAIN GOODS OR SERVICES. DO NOT EXTEND CREDIT WITHOUT FIRST VERIFYING THE IDENTITY OF THE APPLICANT. I CAN BE REACHED AT 917-555-1212. THIS SECURITY ALERT WILL BE MAINTAINED FOR 90 DAYS BEGINNING 03-01-2018.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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