Oftentimes, people are confused as to why their credit score differs from what they expected or why they are unable to get a specific loan. Lenders are able to see your entire credit report, and that gives them detailed information about several aspects of your life. Your credit file is more than just a number.
Understanding Your Credit File
Your credit file, or credit report, is a compilation of your current information, previous addresses, employers, and any debts or obligations. It is important to understand your credit file as a whole. Understanding what information is on your credit file will help you learn how to manage your credit, and help you understand why you might have been denied a loan.
What Does Show on Your Credit File?
- Personal information. Your current name, as well as any other variations of your name which you might have previously gone by, will appear on your file. If your name is commonly misspelled by creditors, this will also appear.
- Current and previous addresses. If you have received mail at any address for a period of time, such as your parent’s house, it is very likely that information will show as a previous address.
- Your employer. The employer information you provide to creditors will appear on your credit file. This does not affect your credit score, but it will help creditors verify your employment information.
- Revolving accounts. The most common example of a revolving account is a credit card. A revolving account is any account that a borrower can borrow from over and over again, such as a credit line.
- Installment loans (mortgages, car loans & student loans). An installment is a one-time loan with a set monthly payment. Other installment loans, such as an unsecured personal loan will also show on your credit file.
- Open and closed accounts. Unless the account has passed the 7-year credit reporting limit, any past account will show on your credit report even if it is closed.
- Account payment history. If you were late on a payment, the account payment history will reflect that on your credit report.
- Recent credit and loan applications. Your credit report also has a list of recent inquiries, which reflects who has pulled your credit and when they did so.
- Collection accounts (unpaid debts – even an unpaid library fine). Any unpaid debt that has been sent to a collections agency, such as medical bills, will show on your credit file.
- Public records (bankruptcy, repossessions & foreclosures). All proceedings that have gone through the court are reported, as well.
What Doesn’t Show on Your Credit File?
- Your salary. Your pay frequency and pay scale are not reflected on your credit file.
- Employment status. Your credit file will not reflect if you have recently been fired or if you are employed part-time or full-time.
- Spouse’s credit history. Your credit file only reflects your information; your spouse has their own credit file.
- Criminal past. Regardless of the charge, if you were arrested or received a ticket it will not show up.
- Medical information. While medical bills will show up if not paid, your medical history and medical information will not be reflected.
- Non-traditional loans. Non-traditional loans include those with a private investor, such as a loan through your parents.
Your net worth. The total amount of all your assets is not shown on your credit report is not a part of what is reported.