Your credit report is a statement of information about your credit history.
It lists your current credit accounts, shows how you have handled your credit in the past, and it gives lenders the opportunity to assess the level of risk attached to you when you apply to them for credit.
While your credit report is useful to lenders, it is also of use to you, as by checking it, you will be able to look for any discrepancies and mistakes that could affect your credit rating.
You will also have the incentive to correct any errors if they show up on the report.
You can check your credit report with TransUnion and Equifax, the details for both can be found online.
However, there are some things not on your credit report, and it’s important that you know this.
We discuss some of them below.
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#1: You might not find all of your accounts listed on your credit report
Not all businesses report your credit information to the reporting agencies, and of those that do, they might only report your information to one agency.
Because there might be a mismatch in reporting, you should get a copy of both of your credit reports, from TransUnion and Equifax, to get a better picture of your credit status.
When you have received your credit reports, you should also check for errors, as if a company hasn’t registered your debt as being paid off, it might still show up as being in arrears.
#2: You won’t find your credit score on your credit report
Your credit score is important to you, as it will affect your chances of getting a credit card, mortgage, or any other type of loan.
It also gives lenders an indication of how likely you are to repay the credit they might approve you for.
If you would like to check your credit score, you should obtain these separately from your reports when contacting TransUnion and Equifax.
#3: Old credit information will be removed from your credit report
If you have had a problem with debt in the past, you can have the peace of mind that the negative aspects of your credit history won’t stay on your credit report forever.
Generally speaking, old credit information will be removed from your credit history after six or seven years, although this might depend on the province you live in.
Some information will be on your credit report for longer, such as a second bankruptcy, which could remain on your report for up to 14 years after being discharged.
However, good information about your credit history can also fall off your report, so you should still make an effort to build your credit.
This will improve your chances when applying for credit in the future.
#4: Most of your household bills won’t appear on your credit report
While your credit cards and loans will make an appearance on your credit report, some of your other monthly bills, such as your rent and utility payments, won’t.
However, if you default on your rent and bill payments or if they end up with a collection agency, they could show up on your credit report.
This is why it’s important to make these important payments on time where possible, and why you should speak to your landlord or bill provider in good time if you are having difficulty making your payments.
They might agree on a payment plan with you to help you manage your debts before they show on your credit report.
#5: Soft inquiries won’t be visible to others
You will be able to see your soft inquiries on your credit report, but they won’t show up to others.
Soft inquiries are triggered when you ask to see your free credit report or when you’re applying to rent a home, for example.
These are different from hard inquiries, such as when you apply for a loan or any other type of credit product.
Inquiries such as these can stay on your report for up to six years, and it’s in your best interest not to make too many of these during a short period as you might damage your credit rating.
#6: Interest rates and debt penalties aren’t listed on your credit report
Your credit report will contain a list of your credit card and loan accounts, alongside details of any other lines of credit.
A person checking your credit report will be able to see when these accounts were opened, your payment status with the lender, and the date of the last recorded activity on these accounts, such as when you last made a payment.
Depending on how you have managed these accounts will depend on how favorably you will be looked upon by the creditor you are applying to.
However, there are some details that won’t be listed on the credit report, and these include the interest rates and penalties you have incurred because of your missed payments.
These details are only shared between you and your current creditor.
While this is a good thing, don’t assume you will always be safe to apply for new credit.
Because the creditor you are applying to will still have a record of the payment periods past due, you might still have difficulty applying for new credit.
#7: Not all of your personal information will be listed on your credit report
Only the personal information you provide to lenders will be shown on your credit report.
These include your name, address, date of birth, and employment details.
Other pieces of personal information should be absent from your report, including your race, religion, medical history, and any criminal records (unless you have been convicted of a financial crime).
However, for those pieces of personal information that are listed, you should check to make sure they are correct.
If your information has been mixed up with another person sharing similar identifying points, your credit rating could be negatively affected.
You should also get in touch with the credit bureau if any of your updated personal information hasn’t shown up on the report, such as a name or employment change.
If you want to know more about your credit report, obtain your free copies from TransUnion and Equifax.
And if you are worried about your credit report, perhaps because you are experiencing debt-related problems, get in touch with our friendly team of professionals to discuss possible solutions to the debt issues you are struggling with.