Credit reports are not always easy to read. The truth is, the credit bureaus want it like that. The less the average consumer understands, the more likely they will not spot or complain about any errors.
This section has identifying and employment information. It will include your full name, spouse’s name, current and former addresses, date of birth, current and former employers.
Although the personal data section does not directly affect the credit score, it is important that this section is correct for identifying purposes. Suffixes, such as Sr., Jr., etc., often get mixed up. Father and son with the same name will often get their information reported on each other’s credit report. Make sure you go over each credit report item if you encounter the above situation to ensure accounts are not inter-mixed.
This section provides detailed information about all credit accounts. Accounts are divided into five categories: Real Estate, Revolving, Installment, Other, and Collections.
Collection accounts are accounts that are seriously past due and have been transferred to an attorney, collection agency, or creditor's internal collection agency. As debt is transferred between different agencies, you may see several records on your credit report for the same debt. Only one record should be marked as open at a time.
The public information section of your credit report includes publicly available information about legal matters affecting your credit. This could include judgments in civil actions, state or federal tax liens, and bankruptcies, to name a few. All are detrimental to a credit score.
This section lists details about each inquiry that has been made into your credit history. Details include the name of the creditor or potential creditor who made the inquiry and the date when the inquiry was made.
An inquiry appears when an organization such as a bank or retail store requests a copy of the credit report. These requests can only be made if the customer has an extension of credit account currently open with the organization or is applying for credit with the organization. The requestor's name will appear on the credit report allowing the customer to monitor who accessed the credit report.