How to Read your Credit Report

by admin on January 8, 2010

How to Read your credit report.

An old Social Security card with the
Image via Wikipedia

Your credit report is broken down into sections, some of the information is self explanatory ( and some isn’t).

I.D. Section – this section includes information about you – make sure things are correct, especially the address.

The ID section includes your:
current address
social security number
date of birth
spouse’s name (if applicable)

Credit History Section

The history section includes just that – your open accounts (things you owe) and things you’ve paid. Along with any late payments.
Make SURE that each account is accurate.

Here is the format:

Company Name
Account Number
Whose Account – the abbreviations sometimes vary – here are some common ones.
I – Individual
U – Undesignated
J – Joint
A – Authorized User
T – Terminated
C – Co-maker/Co-signer
S – Shared

Date Opened
Months Reviewed – number of months in your history with the account
Last Activity – this could be a charge or a payment
High Credit – your credit limit – for loans this is the initial amount of the loan.
Terms – Usually the number of installments for a loan.
Past Due – shows any amounts that you are late on (past due)
Status – This indicates timeliness for payments.
Type of account –
O – Open
R – Revolving
I – Installment
These letters will vary – the next is a number that indicates how well you pay 0-9 – 0 is perfect – 9 is really bad.
Date Reported – Indicates the last time information on this account was updated by your creditor.

Collection Accounts Section – if you’ve ever heard from the dreaded collection agency, here is where they’ll be listed (for 7 years).

Courthouse Records Section – just what it sounds like. Public records include things like: Bankruptcy records,Tax liens, Judgments, Collection accounts, Overdue child support (in some states).

Additional Information

Things like former addresses, employers you’ll find here.

Inquiry Section

A list of folks that have requested your account information.

If you find out that things are not accurate then you will need to dispute the information.
The ftc includes some guidelines that are helpful – you can find that information here.

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