What is a Credit Report?
Your personal credit report contains details about your identity and displays certain financial behaviors. This set of data is sometimes also referred to as a credit file or a credit history. Experian collects and organizes data from creditors, lenders and public records. We make your credit report available to your current and prospective creditors, employers, and others permitted by law, which may help you access credit.
What can I find in my credit report?
Accounts in your credit report can include credit cards, retail credit cards, real estate loans, installment loans – such as auto loans, and accounts in collections. Your creditors report different information to the credit bureaus and may also provide their contact information to display within your credit report. Your account mix generally gives potential creditors an idea of how you use credit from year to year.
Hard inquiries appear on your credit report as a result of your applications for credit or loans, and are visible on your credit report for 24 months. However, they only impact your FICO Score for the first 12 months. These types of inquiries may represent additional debt that doesn’t yet show up as an account on your credit report – when that’s the case, the potential new debt can be an indicator of recent risk. Accordingly, a recent inquiry can have a small impact on your credit scores.
Soft inquiries don’t impact lending decisions or credit scores. They are only visible to you, not to others (including potential creditors). Soft inquiries include checking your own credit report, pre-approved offers of credit, inquiries made for employment or insurance purposes, or those made by your existing lenders to review currently active accounts.
Public Records are financial accounts in your credit report attributed to legal actions such as bankruptcies, tax liens, and court judgments. They do not include information like arrests, misdemeanors, or other non-financial situations. Having this type of record appear on your credit report usually negatively impacts your credit scores.
Under Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a person repays at least a portion of their debts. Chapter 13 bankruptcy remains in your Experian credit report for 7 years from the filing date. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a person does not repay any of the debts included in the filing. Chapter 7 bankruptcy remains in your Experian credit report for up to 10 years from the filing date depending on how it’s handled.
- Tax Lien
This results from failure to pay your taxes in most cases. An unpaid tax lien will remain on your Experian credit report for up to 10 years from the filing date. A paid tax lien is deleted 7 years from the date it is paid.
- Civil Judgments
This results from a debt you owe through the courts as a result of a lawsuit. Civil judgments stay on your Experian credit report for 7 years from the filing date. Once paid, this record will be updated to show that fact.
How often is my Experian credit report updated?
In general, creditors send information to the credit reporting agencies on a monthly basis, but the day of the month that the organization sends its updates varies. Different creditors submit information throughout the month, which then shows on your credit report.