Understanding What is in a Credit Report

Your credit score is an important component of your finances. This number will help you when you are looking to apply for a mortgage or any other type of loan. You can analyze your finances and work on ways to improve the score by taking a look at your credit report. This document will show you all your credit activity and what the state of your current debts look like. You can use this as a tool to look deeper into your accounts, which can give you a push to whittle down debt and improve your credit score. Here are a few things that are on a credit report:

Personal Information
The first section of the report should contain all of the basic information about yourself. This section will include such things as your name, current and previous addresses, date of birth and Social Security number. As you are looking over this portion, check for any misspellings or incorrect dates. A wrong name or date could have negative impacts on your credit, plus it doesn't hurt to make sure everything is in place.

Account Information
As you start to work your way down the report, you will begin to see more detailed items. This segment will give you more information about why the report was accessed and more more in-depth about your lines of credit. Here are a few things this section will include:

  • Name of the creditor you are borrowing from
  • When the account as opened
  • Type of credit account (i.e., installment, open, revolving)
  • Credit limit of each account
  • Balance as of the date the report was issued
  • Owner of the account, whether it is an individual or joint account and whether there is an authorized user attached
  • Payment status (i.e., current or delinquent)
  • Payment history

There is a lot of information in this part of the report, but it can give you greater insight into your credit. By seeing that you have a delinquent account, high balance or any missed payments, you can push yourself to repair these components by making your minimum payments on time and decreasing the amount of the balance. By doing this, you will be able to get yourself out of debt and repair your credit.