How To Read A Credit Report

When you order a credit report, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information at your fingertips. Because your credit report and credit score are critical to your financial well-being, it's important to understand exactly what the terms mean.

Your credit report is divided into four different sections. The first section contains identifying information. This information includes data such as your name, address, social security number, your date of birth, driver's license number, and the name of your spouse and current employer.

The next section contains information about your credit history. This section is very important because it has an impact on your overall credit score. Information about when you opened your accounts, the type of credit held, joint account status, total loan amounts or credit card balances, amount owed on the account, and fixed payment amounts are all included in this section.

Another section is devoted to public records. This section contains information on any bankruptcies, tax liens, and judgments against you. Hopefully, this section is blank on your credit report. The final section deals with inquiries on your account. Any time someone asks to see your credit report, it is listed in this section of the report. If you find any errors or problems with your report, you can file a request to change the report with the credit reporting company.

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