- What's the difference between a credit report and a credit score? video
- Making sense of your credit report infographic
- Does checking your own credit report affect your credit score? video
- What do you do if you find a mistake on your credit report? video
- How much impact do negative marks have on your credit score? video
- KEY TAKEAWAYS
Making sense of your credit report
There are four main sections of your credit report:
1.) Personal information
This section contains your name, address (past and present), Social Security number, date of birth, etc.
2.) Credit history
Here you’ll find a list of your credit accounts, both open and closed, as well as payment history information. If you have unused or unnecessary credit cards, you may want to reevaluate the value of those accounts.
3.) Public records
Information from collection agencies appears in this section, including delinquent accounts, bankruptcies, foreclosures, lawsuits, tax liens, judgments, etc. If you have any of these, focus on adding to your positive credit history.
4.) Credit inquiries
In this section you’ll find a list of everyone who has asked to see your credit report in the last two years.
Credit bureaus include: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion
You can get a free copy of your credit report at: AnnualCreditReport.com
Building up your credit report
When to check your credit:
Check your credit report at least three months in advance of applying for a mortgage—or further in advance if you’ve never seen your credit score before—to potentially correct any problems.
Late or missed payments:
If you have negative marks on your credit report, pay any delinquencies and ask collectors to remove charge-offs and collection accounts. Wait at least six months to apply for a mortgage—the older a delinquency, the better your credit looks.
Thin credit history:
If you don’t have enough credit history, add one or two revolving credit accounts and pay your bill on time every month.
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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its partners assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one's reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment management.