Editorial Policy

What Is Your Credit Report?

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By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.
May 22, 2009

Your credit report contains records of each credit-based account you have opened, along with information about when it was opened, the amount of credit extended, whether the account was paid off, and whether or not you had any missed or late payments. It also contains personal information, such as your birth date, Social Security Number, and your current employer. Any public records that have bearing on your credit-worthiness, such as bankruptcy declarations, foreclosures, or account judgments will also be noted in the credit report. If you have disputed anything in your report, this will also be reflected in your file.

In addition, your credit report lists any recent inquiries made about your credit history. Every time you apply for a loan or credit card and the lender requests a copy of your credit report, that inquiry is noted in your credit history. Too many recent inquiries may lead the lender to conclude that you have a pressing need for credit. This can count against you in their decision.