How to Read a Credit Report – NerdWallet

regularly reviewing your recognition reports lets you check for errors that might be lowering your recognition scores, and it can tip you off to likely identity larceny. You can use the dispute process to get mistakes removed, which may help you qualify for accredit or get better terms.

How to get your free credit report information

You can get free credit report information in two ways :

  • You ‘re entitled to a release report directly from the three recognition chest of drawers by using Reports had been available per annum, but in response to the pandemic the locate will offer free weekly updates through the end of 2022.
  • Some personal finance websites, including NerdWallet, offer free credit report information. NerdWallet ‘s credit report includes a credit seduce, providing your VantageScore 3.0 using TransUnion data, and updates weekly.

    See your free credit report

    Know what’s happening with your free credit report and know when and why your score changes.

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How to read a credit report and what to look for

Each credit chest of drawers organizes its reports differently, so the sections may fall in a unlike club, but all of your reports have the lapp basic parts. here ’ s what a recognition report looks like :

Personal information

Your personal information will include names you ‘ve used, stream and previous addresses and telephone numbers, Social Security numeral — partially masked for security — birthdate, and current and previous employers. Do n’t be surprised if there are a few unlike spellings of your name. Variations you ‘ve used on credit applications will pop up, such as married and maid list, with and without in-between appoint or initial, the short interpretation of your first diagnose, etc. If one or more of your employers or call numbers is missing, it ’ s not a big deal. But keep an eye out for addresses you do n’t recognize — particularly if you later spot accounts you do n’t recognize. That suggests person has used your personal information to open deceitful accounts in your name. Report identity larceny american samoa soon as you discover it.


This part lists all of your accounts that haven ’ metric ton gone to collections or been defaulted on. This is the meat of your credit report. Each account has a compendious at the top. Make certain you recognize the follow items :

  • identify and savoir-faire of the creditor, account act and date opened .
  • condition of the account — such as whether it ‘s open or closed or has been transferred — and whether you ‘re current on payments. Accounts that were in good stand when pandemic-related payment accommodations began must continue to be reported as current .
  • character of account ( recognition poster, student loanword, etc. ) .
  • Whether you ’ re an person or joint owner of the report or simply an authorized exploiter .
  • Credit limit or original total of the installment loan .

You ‘ll besides see balance and payment data, including the date when the creditor last send account data to the agency. Do n’t expect it to reflect your balance as of today. For exercise, even if you pay your accredit card in full every calendar month, your report may show a counterweight if your calling card bodily process was reported in the middle of the charge cycle. Make indisputable your requital history does n’t show errors, such as a late requital when you paid on time. You ’ ll besides want to make indisputable your report limits are correct, as this can affect your credit utilization ratio — and that ‘s a large divisor in citation scores. If an bill has been closed, your report will note who closed it and when. Closed accounts in good stand can stay on your credit reports indefinitely. But accounts closed by the creditor because you did n’t pay as agree should fall off seven years after the account first went delinquent.

Negative information, if any

The negative information section will list accounts that have n’t been paid as harmonize, collections and public records such as bankruptcies. negative data by and large stays on your credit report for seven years, with the exception of chapter 7 bankruptcies, which stay on your report for 10 years. In this section, you ’ ll want to make sure any damaging information is accurate. If you see wrong accounts or collections or if something is being listed after it was supposed to have dropped off, dispute the entries immediately to have them removed from your report.

Inquiries on your credit

This section lists times when person checked your credit. You ’ ll see inquiries when you applied for new citation or specify increases, a well as ones related to things like house or utility applications. Entries may be separated by type :

  • hard inquiries happen when you authorize a likely creditor to check your file as part of an lotion. These can cause a small, temp dip in your credit scores .
  • voiced inquiries, which don ’ t affect your credit scores, happen when you check your own citation or a electric potential creditor sees if it wants to send you a promotional extend .

Both types of inquiries will include the name and address of the organization, arsenic well as the date. Make certain that all hard inquiries were authorized by you and that they fall off your report after two years.

What information is not found on your credit reports?

Your credit reports do not include credit scores. however, the data the reports contain helps shape your scores. here ’ s what else credit reports don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate include :


It makes a big remainder in your daily life, but your wage does n’t appear in your accredit reports, and it does n’t affect your credit scores.

Employment status

credit reports might list your employers, but they don ’ t say whether or when your employment ended. The information is for identification purposes and comes from your past credit applications.

Marital status and spouse’s credit history

You can get marry, but your credit reports won ’ triiodothyronine. You and your spouse will each have separate credit reports, and his or her credit wo n’t affect yours. But claim note : Accounts you open together — a mortgage or shared credit cards, for model — do show up on both credit reports, and mistakes such as late payments could affect you both.


Your bank balances, retirement accounts such as 401 ( kilobyte ) south, and investments or brokerage accounts are n’t listed on your credit rating reports.

401(k) loans

When you borrow money from yourself, it does n’t appear on your credit reports. ( But it ’ s besides by and large not a big mind — it can truly set back your retirement saving progress. )

If you see errors, dispute them

If you spot inaccuracies that may be lowering your scores, gather documentation to back up your call. You can dispute accredit report errors with the credit rating agency showing them. You ‘ll need to provide copies of documents proving your identity and showing why the detail is ill-timed. The chest of drawers has 30 days to investigate and respond, although the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has steering extending that to 45 because of the pandemic frequently asked questions How can I see what ‘s on my credit report ? You can request your free credit reports from the three major agency by using or a personal finance web site that provides release credit report details, like NerdWallet. then, review the information and check for inaccuracies . What shows up on a credit rating report ? credit reports include your personal information, accounts, citation inquiries and any negative marks you may have, such as bankruptcies . What ’ second a dear credit score range ? A good credit score is generally between 690 and 719. Learn more about the credit score ranges and how to build accredit. How can I see what ‘s on my credit report ? You can request your free credit reports from the three major agency by using or a personal finance web site that provides free credit report card details, like NerdWallet. then, review the information and check for inaccuracies. What shows up on a citation report ? credit reports include your personal information, accounts, credit rating inquiries and any negative marks you may have, such as bankruptcies. What ’ s a good credit grade range ? A good credit score is broadly between 690 and 719. Learn more about the credit score ranges

and how to build citation.

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