Your credit profile includes a wide range of information about you, your accounts and information on how those accounts are managed. You credit profile consists of the following:
- Personal information about you.
- Information about your credit accounts. These are referred to as “Trade Lines” and include the accounts, balances, credit limits and payment history.
- Information about creditors requesting information about you. These are referred to as “Credit Inquiries.”
- Information found in public records. These include collections, judgements, tax liens and other information found in public records.
Personal Identifying Information includes your name, current and previous addresses, social security number and sometimes contact information. Employment history is also included in the file. When you complete a credit application this information is imported into the system. If the information is inaccurate you can complete a simple process to update information and eliminate incorrect data. Given that many companies now use this data to verify your identity, ensuring its accuracy can reduce hurdles the next time you apply for credit.
Trade Lines is a list of both open and closed credit accounts. Creditors report account activity each month. The date the company reports to the credit bureau does not necessarily correlate with the payment due date, but is generally the same day each month. The company will report your credit limit, current balance and your last monthly payment. Any late payments over 30 days will be reported and this will remain on your report for up to 7 years.
Credit Inquiries shows where you have applied for additional credit as well as which companies have requested a copy of your credit file. Inquires can also come from utilities, satellite, insurance companies and even employers. With credit inquiries there are two kinds of access to the report. They are referred to as soft and hard hits. Soft hits are companies that are reviewing your credit because they already do business with you, or because they want to consider sending you a credit offer. Soft hits do not impact your score in any way, and you do not control who requests your report. Hard hits, are indicated by places you have actively approved to pull your credit. This could be a credit application, utility or other company that uses credit to determine eligibility. Hard hits can have a negative impact on your score.
Public Records and Collections are captured by collection companies reporting to the credit bureau as well as information gathered from public records. Legal judgements and tax liens are generally included.