So youâ€™ve just received this free credit report from one of the major credit report bureaus and you have absolutely no idea what you are looking at. If this sounds like you, then you are in good company. Lots of people donâ€™t really know what they are looking at when they view a credit bureau report because to be quite honest, they are somewhat complicated to the untrained eye. Here are some tips to help you understand the important information you are reading.
General Personal Information
Bureau credit reports will feature lots of information, but the first thing you should see is all of your personal information. There will be sections outlining your name, home information, other contact information, and then some other interesting things. Among those will be sections regarding your employment history and your criminal background. These things are in place for different outlets that purchase your credit report when trying to cross-reference you for a loan, new account, or some other type of agreement.
List of Accounts
On your credit bureau report, you will see all of the open credit accounts in your name. This will include everything that you might have thought of and some other things that you might not have even remembered. If you have credit card accounts, any small loans, a mortgage, or other form of credit, then your account will be listed there. In addition, student loans, rental properties, and other things might show up. Along with the simple listing, there will be a section outlining how long you have had these accounts. This is one place where you will want to look very closely on your credit bureau report, because mistakes can sometimes show up.
History of Account Standing
Here is the important part of the credit report. In your bureau credit reports, you will see each account listed, along with the payment history for that account. In this section of the report, you can see any missed payments or late payments. They will also list any sort of delinquency that is associated with various accounts. When you go under review for a new line of credit or a new account, this is the section that will be scrutinized the greatest. Here, you will also find that the total balance of each account will be listed for people to review.
The Credit Score
Most people get credit reports just so they can know their credit score. When it comes to qualifying for loans, your credit score is the single most important number that you have. It can be the difference in getting the loan you need and being turned down. At the bottom of your credit report, you will see this number. It usually falls somewhere between 500 and 800, depending upon how responsible you have been with your credit in the past.