Credit reports play a critical role in our everyday financial lives. These reports can influence the decisions of lenders, insurers, landlords, and utility companies on whether to provide vital services and lines of credit. But exactly what information is contained in your credit report? Here is all the information you can potentially find in this important document.
The first type of information in a person’s full credit report is identification information. This section of data is known as “Personally Identifiable Information” (PII). ID information includes a variety of data, including:
- Date of Birth (DOB)
- Social Security Number (SSN)
Other information that may be found in the PII section includes credit freezes, power of attorney comments, or instances of fraud. Data in the PII section of a person’s full credit report doesn’t factor into their credit score.
Credit Account Info
Account details are the second type of data found in a person’s credit report. Account information is provided to the credit bureaus via the bank or credit issuers and includes credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, HELOCs, and student loans.
Lenders report the following information to credit bureaus and reporting agencies:
- Date of account opening
- Credit limits
- Loan amount
- Payment history
- Account balances
Not all account information may be visible on this section of your credit report. Some closed accounts may drop off the report after a handful of years. Other lenders may not report to all the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).
All credit reports detail the individual’s recent credit inquiries. These inquiries fall into two categories: hard inquiries and soft inquiries.
Soft inquiries occur when you check your credit score through free apps, like Credit Karma. Other soft inquiries occur when banks issue prequalification offers or pre-approval mail offers for credit cards. These soft credit checks have no impact on your credit score.
Hard inquiries occur when you apply for credit, like credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, or other credit products. These hard credit checks allow a potential lender to pull and see your full credit report. Hard inquiries have a slight negative impact on a person’s credit score, though this hit subsides after several months. The record of a hard inquiry, however, stays on a person’s credit report for up to 24 months.
Related Article: Everything You Need to Know About Hard Inquiries
Credit reports also list other critical information beyond the specific credit account information you may expect. Your credit report may contain information relating to events you wouldn’t normally consider relevant, such as collections accounts from:
- Unpaid traffic tickets or fines
- Past due accounts from cable companies, utility companies, or other vendors
- Unpaid medical bills
Of course, credit reports also list collections accounts relating to past due credit accounts. These collections reports identify potential issues relating to an individual’s ability (or willingness) to make timely payments on their future credit accounts.
Credit reports also contain information about past bankruptcies, including the date of the bankruptcy and chapter type. This information is available through public records.
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