Here’s a summary of the key data that’s included on your credit report and what they mean.
Each credit bureau will hold personally identifiable information such as your name, address, date of birth and Social Security Number. They may also hold multiple versions of your name such as your maiden name or if you’ve ever spelled it differently.
Your credit report details lines of credit that have been extended to you, both current and repaid. Generally speaking, positive information, such as accounts that are repaid as agreed, can stay on your report for up to 10 years, while negative information, such as late payments or collections, remains for 7 years.
Whenever you apply for a line of credit, you authorize the lender to access your credit report. Hard inquiries like this remain on your credit report for up to two years and do impact your score. As a general rule, try to limit hard inquiries on your report to two or three at any point in time.
Finally, your credit report will contain information about you that is on the public record, gathered from the courts. For example, if any credit lines have gone into collection or if you have declared bankruptcy in the past. Collections typically remain in the report for up to 7 years while bankruptcy can remain for up to 10 years.
Take your time to read over these points and assess whether any of it is applicable to you. Understanding what kind of data makes up your credit file can shed light on where and what you can improve.
This post was written and compiled by the credit experts behind Loqbox – a completely free way to grow your savings and build your credit score.