Four Sections to a Credit Report

Credit reports are divided into the following four sections:

Personal Information
Most reports begin with your personal identification information. It lists your name and any former names or aliases, your current address and former addresses, and sometimes your employment history and marital status.

Trade Lines
The bulk of a credit report is dedicated to your history of handling credit. It includes:
Creditors and account numbers
The date accounts were opened
Credit limits or original balances
Whether accounts are individually or jointly held
Balances and payment patterns for the last 24 to 36 months
Whether accounts are in collections or in dispute

Public Records
This section shows public records that are related to credit worthiness, such as liens, bankruptcies, repossessions, judgments, foreclosures, and court-ordered child support arrears.

Inquiries
This section lists anyone who has accessed your credit report. Inquiries can either be "hard" or "soft." A hard inquiry is one that results from an application or transaction initiated by you, such as applying for a new credit card.
A soft inquiry occurs when you pull your credit report or your credit report is checked for reasons not related to credit applications. The only person who can see the soft inquiries on your credit report is you.

Next Topic Your Credit Score

Top