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Credit Report Dissected

By Faye Mergel
Published: Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

98897761Credit Reports can be viewed by credit card holders once in every twelve months in under federal laws. The three main credit bureaus are responsible in issuing these free annual reports. This is to make cardholders aware of the fact that it is important to view the report with their own very eyes to detect errors or symptoms that could lead possibly to fraud or theft. If errors do exist, the cardholders must contact the credit bureaus to discuss with them matters and solutions relevant to the errors.

The following are the commonly found elements in a credit report:

Personal Information – This includes the name, address and other details about the credit report requestor. A reporting number is also included as a reference to be used when contacting the bureaus. This section also includes information about the requester’s employment records. The employer name, the position held, date hired and the location of where the requester works. Past employment can be also found here.

Public Records – These are court judgments, wage garnishments, liens and bankruptcy files that may be reported to the credit bureaus. TransUnion is the only credit bureau among the three that includes an estimated date when the public record will be removed from the report.  The section is found in the heading of credit reports issued by Experian and TransUnion. Equifax place this section at the end of the report.

Adverse accounts. These are also known as potentially negative items. This section includes the details of the accounts recently opened and the status of the accounts that have been reported as either unpaid or paid overdue after one or more months. The details here are disputable if errors are found. These accounts can stay in the report for 7 years.

Satisfactory accounts – Also known as accounts in good standing. These are accounts recently opened that are paid fully timely during a reported period of time, usually up to 53 months.

Credit history requests – The details included here pertain to those who have requested the cardholders’ credit report and the purpose why such requests were done.

Personal statement – It is a statement supplemented by the cardholder to explain some areas about his or her history. Cardholder may state other relevant pieces of information that are not included in the other sections of the credit report. Examples of personal statement included can be fraud alert details and reasons why the service was availed.

Cardholders must be aware not only of the above elements but must also master the terms used in the credit report. A credit report may include technical terms that are considered jargon by a typical customer. Resources such as internet websites like should be visited and read through to have a better understanding about the details contained in the report.

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