What Is A Credit Report And What Does It Include
Reading time: 3 minutes
- A credit report is a summary of how you have handled your credit accounts
- It’s important to check your credit reports regularly to ensure the information is accurate and complete
A credit report is a summary of how you have handled credit accounts, including the types of accounts and your payment history, as well as certain other information thats reported to credit bureaus by your lenders and creditors.;
Potential creditors and lenders use credit reports as part of their decision-making process to decide whether to extend you credit and at what terms. Others, such as potential employers or landlords, may also access your credit reports to help them decide whether to offer you a job or a lease. Your credit reports may also be reviewed for insurance purposes or if youre applying for services such as phone, utilities or a mobile phone contract.;
For these reasons, it’s important to check your credit reports regularly to ensure the information in them is accurate and complete.
The three;;that provide credit reports nationwide are;Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Your credit reports from each may not be identical, as some lenders and creditors may not report to all three. Some may report to only two, one or none at all.;
Your Equifax credit report contains the following types of information:
- Identifying information
- Inquiry information;
There are two types of inquiries: soft and hard.
- Collections accounts
How Many Hard Inquiries Is Too Many
The effect of a hard inquiry on your credit scores ultimately depends on your overall credit health. In general, adding one or two hard inquiries to your credit reports could lower your scores by a few points, but its unlikely to have a significant impact.
Having a lot of hard inquiries within a short time frame though will likely have a greater impact on your scores. This is because lenders and in effect, credit-scoring models look at multiple credit applications in a short amount of time as a sign of risk. Though there can be exceptions when youre shopping for specific types of loans, like car loans, student loans or mortgages.
Unauthorized Hard Credit Inquiry On Credit Report
I recently was advised by Equifax about 2 hard inquiries done in my credit report on 5/7/2018, I do not have anything with AT&T nor I authorized this. I do not have any contact information to reach out to AT&T to dispute this, it has affected my credit report bad. I need this fix immediately.
Thank you for visiting us on the Business Forum. Please review the below thread for further assistance with credit inquiries:
I apologize you have an unauthorized credit check form AT&T on your credit report.; I will be happy to assist you with this matter.
You will need to file a dispute with Equifax to get this removed from your credit report.; Here is a link to the Equifax support page.;
Thank you for being part of the Community Forums and have a tremendous weekend.
Anthony, AT&T Community Specialist
3 y ago
I too have this issue and of course AT&T hides behind a facade of false numbers and irrelevant recordings preventing anyone from actually reaching anyone to resolve this isssue. ;As hard credit inquiries require PII that I did not furnish, I too am going to contact the office of the Attorney General for the State of Colorado. ;Additionally I will be contacting our local news agency so their invesigative team and bring light to this issue that AT&T refuses to address and correct. ;
3 y ago
3 y ago
3 y ago
Look For Unauthorized Or Incorrect Hard Inquiries
You can request to remove hard inquiries from your credit reports if
If you did apply for a credit account or authorize a hard inquiry, you cant remove it from your reports. It remains on your credit reports as part of an accurate representation of your credit history. If thats the case, it should fall off your reports after about two years.
How To Dispute A Hard Inquiry On Your Credit Report
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If youve checked your credit reports, you may have noticed youre not the only one taking a peek.
Utilities use them to decide whether to charge you a deposit.
Companies may check your credit standing so they can market products to you.
Potential landlords and employers may look to see how reliable you are.
Inquiries stay on your report for two years, but not all of them affect your score. Heres what you need to know about when and how to remove a hard inquiry from your credit report.
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What To Do If You Dont Recognize An Inquiry On Your Credit Report
If you see an inquiry you dont recognize, first check what kind of inquiry it is hard or soft. Soft inquiries dont affect your credit score and only you can see them. Hard inquiries typically happen when a lender or company accesses your credit report with the intention to extend you credit or apply for a new financial obligation.
Lenders can only access your credit report if they have a permissible purpose. That is, they must have a specific, allowable reason under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If a hard inquiry is a result of fraud, it can be removed from your report. But just because an inquiry on your credit report doesnt look familiar, that doesnt mean its unauthorized or inaccurate.
Store credit cards are a great example. Sometimes, the name of the bank on the credit report isnt the same as the company the card is for. If you request to increase your credit line on a credit card you already have, that will often cause a hard inquiry too. These are easy to miss or forget about when reading through a credit report.
One quick way to double check if you applied for new credit is to search your email for the name of the creditor on your credit report. If you find an application, check the terms and conditions, which will say if you gave the creditor permission to access your report.
If you still think a hard inquiry on your credit report is unauthorized, run through this checklist for suggested steps to take and further protect your credit health:
Applying For Credit Hard Inquiries
When applying for new credit you will generally give your name, address, phone number and social security number. These are needed to accurately identify the correct credit record to pull.
Your credit application will require your signature, giving the lender or a financial consultant permission to access your credit file. You may be familiar with this approach if you have ever bought a car.
If you walk into the dealership, they will ask you to fill out a credit application before they allow you to test drive. You may be subject to multiple hard inquiries using this approach, as the dealership will shop around for the best deal for you. Events like this results in a hard pull.
After I bought my car from a national dealership, I viewed my credit report and saw eight entries. I immediately panicked because I was not aware that the dealers finance personnel petitioned that number of lenders.
After some research, I found that the FICO scoring models treated multiple inquiries for one type of loan as one inquiry, indicating that you were shopping around for the best rates. This method prevents your score from taking a complete nosedive.
How long do hard inquiries stay on your report? Hard inquiries impact your score for about a year, but generally fall off your report within 2 years.
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At&t’s Credit Check Policy
So youve decided to join the AT&T/DIRECTV family! Did you have questions regarding the credit check requirement? You will find some helpful information below:
- AT&T requires a credit check when ordering new products .
- The results of the credit evaluation and the cost of the device will determine if security is required. ;;
- Guarantors or co-signers for credit applications are not accepted by AT&T.
- In order to consent to a credit check and service activation with AT&T, potential individual customers must meet the minimum age requirement;of 18.; Puerto Rico age of consent would be 21.
Unable to Submit to Credit Evaluation:;
- All customers are eligible to apply for service. Information required to process an application for credit may be different depending on the product line. ;
- You may be listed as having unknown credit. Depending on the service youre signing up for security may be required.
Reimbursement of Fees:;
- If a Credit Management Fee is required, a credit will be applied to the account as long as the service remains active and is in good standing.
- If your credit rating changes the fee will remain on the account.;
Understanding Hard Inquiries On Your Credit Report
Reading time: 3 minutes
- When a lender or company requests to review your credit reports after you’ve applied for credit, it results in a hard inquiry
- Hard inquiries usually impact credit scores
- Multiple hard inquiries within a certain time period for a home or auto loan are generally counted as one inquiry
Some consumers are reluctant to check their credit reports because they are concerned that doing so may impact their credit scores. While pulling your own credit report does result in an inquiry on your credit report, it will not affect your credit score. In fact, knowing what information is in your credit reportand checking your credit may help you get in the habit of monitoring your financial accounts.
One of the ways to establish smart credit behavior is to understand how inquiries work and what counts as a hard inquiry on your credit report.
What is a hard inquiry?
When a lender or company requests to review your credit report as part of the loan application process, that request is recorded on your credit report as a hard inquiry, and it usually will impact your credit score. This is different from a soft inquiry, which can result when you check your own credit or when a promotional credit card offer is generated. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score.
Recent hard inquiries on your credit report tell a lender that you are currently shopping for new credit. This may be meaningful to a potential lender when assessing your creditworthiness.
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Example Of A Credit Inquiry
Lets assume John is looking to purchase a new vehicle. After deciding on the make and model, he decides to look into financing terms. The dealership has an on-site financing arm and pulls Johns credit report. John has had a steady job for four years and doesnt have any outstanding debts. He has also paid his bills on time throughout the years. Based on the credit inquiry, the dealership offers him their lowest percentage rate of 4% to purchase the vehicle.
Negative Codes On An Equifax Credit File
For instance, here are a host of credit problems you may have faced, along with the Equifax letter code that summarizes or abbreviates the problem.
Collection Account: CA
Voluntary Surrender: VS
When it comes to missed payments, Equifax uses number codes to indicate the severity of your delinquency. So the length of your time that your payment was past due will typically serve as the number code used.
Thus, if youre 30-59 days past due on an account, it will say: 30.
Past-due accounts are noted on Equifax like this:
30-59 Days Past Due: 30
60-89 Days Past Due: 60
90-119 Days Past Due: 90
120-149 Days Past Due: 120
150-179 Days Past Due: 150
180+ Days Past Due: 180
Obviously, the longer you go without making required payments, the more damaging that is to your credit score.
The good news is that even if you have less-than-perfect credit, you can still get credit or a loan, as long as your credit files arent completely riddled with late payments and other negative marks.
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Examples Of Hard Credit Inquiries And Soft Credit Inquiries
The difference between a hard and soft inquiry generally boils down to whether you gave the lender permission to check your credit. If you did, it may be reported as a hard inquiry. If you didnt, it should be reported as a soft inquiry.
Lets look at some examples of when a hard inquiry or a soft inquiry might be placed on your credit reports. Note: The following lists are not exhaustive and should be treated as a general guide.
A Credit Inquiry Is A Record Of When A Lender Or Creditor Requests Your Credit File
While a single hard inquiry, also known as a hard pull, is unlikely to impact your eligibility for new credit products such as a new credit card, it can affect your credit scores for up to two years.
When reviewing hard inquiries on your credit reports, you want to make sure that they are legitimate. What does that mean? For each hard inquiry line item you see, did you authorize the creditor or lender to pull your credit? If you did, you dont need to take any action.
But its possible that when youre monitoring your credit reports that youll flag instances of unauthorized hard inquiries. If you find one of these, youll want to file a dispute with the credit bureau that generated the report and ask the bureau to remove the unauthorized inquiry.
Heres how to dispute inaccurate hard inquiries from your credit reports.
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How Credit Scores Are Affected By Hard Inquiries
When a hard inquiry is reported, be aware that you may see a minor decrease in your credit score. This decrease will last for about a year.
If you are in the market for a car or house and need to shop around for favorable loan terms, you should focus on keeping your inquiries within a 30-day time frame. All inquiries during this time frame will count as one, having a minimal impact on your score.
Monitoring your credit utilization and refraining from obtaining new credit are other tactics to mitigate the effects of hard inquiries on your credit score.
I have found the point reduction to be minute in comparison to the decline in my score due to an increase in my credit card balance. With an inquiry requesting information on a car refinance, I saw a drop of two points. With the credit card balance increase, there was a on my report.
If Warranted File A Dispute With The Corresponding Credit Bureau
If you dispute errors in your credit reports, including unauthorized hard inquiries, the credit bureaus are required to investigate. Theyre also required to correct information thats found to be inaccurate.
You can file a dispute with any of the three major consumer credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion that has an inaccurate hard inquiry recorded for you on its corresponding credit report. Credit Karma members can dispute errors on their TransUnion® report through the tool.
You may be able to dispute inquiries online, but consider mailing your dispute. Look for sample credit dispute letters online, like the one available from the Federal Trade Commission, to help you draft your dispute letter.
If the credit bureau in question investigates and finds that the inquiry wasnt authorized, it should remove the inquiry from your corresponding credit report.
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Negative Codes On An Experian Credit File
For example, here are a variety of negative credit scenarios, and the Experian codes used to describe them:
30 Days Past Due: 30
60 Days Past Due: 60
90 Days Past Due: 90
120 Days Past Due: 120
150 Days Past Due: 150
180 Days Past Due: 180
Claim filed with government: G
Insurance claim: IC
Voluntarily surrendered: VS
Again, none of these is a flat-out credit deathblow in and of themselves.
But if your credit reports show a repeated pattern of late payments and an inability or unwillingness to pay your obligations, then banks, credit unions and other financial institutions definitely wont be beating down your door to offer you credit.
On Your Transunion Credit Report
Finally, the TransUnion credit bureau also has its own codes to summarize your credit history and payment behavior.
The main code you want to see is OK as this notation means that you are current on an account.
Besides an OK listing, there are four neutral codes on a TransUnion credit file. These are:
N/R which means Not Reported
X which means Unknown
None of these codes harm your credit rating, so dont panic if you see them on your TransUnion credit report.
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If Youve Applied For Financing Or Other Credit And The Lender Checked Your Credit Scores As Part Of The Process Youve Probably Experienced Whats Called A Hard Credit Inquiry
When lenders check your credit with a hard inquiry , they often make a note of their official review in your . They use that information to assess how youve handled credit in the past, how often youve paid your debts and bills on time, and whether you have any derogatory marks on your credit reports.
They also want to know how much credit youre juggling and how long youve been managing your credit. All of these factors help creditors decide whether to extend new credit to you or give you additional credit.
You can help yourself prepare for a hard credit pull by monitoring your credit reports and making sure there arent any unpleasant surprises. Checking your own credit reports often involves whats known as a soft credit inquiry, or soft pull.
Lets take a deeper look at the differences between hard credit inquiries and soft credit inquiries.