How To Read An Employment Credit Bureau Report
Each credit report bureau places an explanation of terms usually on the backside of the report pages. In it, they explain what the numbers and letters you see next to your accounts mean.
So, if you see something like I9, it should be defined in the explanation of terms.
Credit Bureau reports contain the following:
Real Estate Accounts – Home mortgages.
Revolving Accounts – Store credit cards and lines of credit.
Installment Accounts – loans which are not related to real estate, such as auto or student loans.
Other Accounts -Accounts that fall into the other categories.
Collection Accounts – Accounts that have been sent turned over to collections.
Your credit summary will also summarize the number of accounts you have open, closed, in public records, and the number of inquiries made against your credit within the past two years.
Your Account History
The account history section of your credit report contains the bulk of the information. This section includes each of your credit accounts and details about how you’ve paid.
Your account history will be very detailed, but it’s important that you read through it to make sure the information is being reported correctly.
Each account will contain the several pieces of information:
Creditor name of the institution reporting the information.
Account number associated with the account. The account number may be scrambled or shortened for privacy purposes.
Account type, i.e. revolving account, education loan, auto loan.
Responsibility. This indicates whether you have individual, joint, or authorized user responsibility for the account.
Monthly payment is the minimum amount you are required to pay on the account each month.
Date opened. The month and year the account was established.
Date reported is the last date the creditor updated the account information with the credit bureau.
Balance. The amount owed on the account at the time data was reported.
Credit limit or loan amount.
High balance or high credit is the highest amount ever charged on the credit card. For installment loans, high credit is the original loan amount.
Past due. Amount past due at the time the data was reported.
Remarks are comments made by the creditor about your account.
Payment status. Indicates the status of the account, i.e. current, past due, charge-off. Even if your account is current, it might contain information about previous delinquencies.
Payment history. Indicates your monthly payment status since the time your account was established.
Collection accounts may appear as part of the account history or in a separate section. Where it appears depends on the company providing your credit report.
Public records include information like bankruptcies, judgments, tax liens, state and county court records, and, in some states, overdue child support. Depending on the type of account, a public record can remain on your credit report between 7-10 years.
KEY TO THE CREDIT REPORT
(SSN ISSUED -93)
Optional fraud system. Year and State of residence when Social Security number was issued.
(SINCE 03/10/73) Date File Was Established
FAD: (FAD 01/31/94 ) Date of Last Activity on File
FILE NUMBER For Equifax Iternal Use Only
CONSUMER REFERRAL MESSAGE:
(EQUIFAX CREDIT INFORMATION SERVICES)
This is the address and phone number of the Reporting Bureau.
It is Provided to Assist You and the Consumer in the Event of Adverse Action.
Subject & Spouse Name
Current Address, Telephone Numbers, Origin & Date Added to File
Second Former Address
Also Known As
Birth Date, SSN Subject, SSN Verified – Yes (Y) or No (N)
(01 ES-ENGINEER,LOCKHEED,ATLANTA,GA,EMP 06/87,VER 03/92)
ES–(Employment Subject) Position, Firm, Location, Date Employed, Date Verified
EF–(Employment Former) Position, Firm, Location, Date Left
E2–(Employment Second Former)
SUMMARY OF FILES ITEMS:
(*SUM-04/73-01/94,PR/0I-YES,COLL-YES,FB-NO, ACCTS:10,HC$450-87595, 6-ONES, 1-TWO, 1-THREE, 1-FIVE, 1-OTHER, HIST DEL- 1-TWO, 2-THREES, 1-FOUR.)
04/73–Oldest Opening Date of Trade
01/94–Newest Reporting Date of Trade
PR/OI–YES–File Has Public Record
COLL–YES–File Has Collection Items
FB–NO–When File Contains No Information from Credit Reporting Companies Not Affiliated with Equifax
ACCTS:10–File Contains 10 Tradelines HC-HIGH CREDIT
6–ONES–Six Trades in File Coded 1
1–TWO–One Trade in File Coded 2
1–THREE–One Trade in File Coded 3
1–FIVE–One Trade in File Coded 5
1–OTHER–One Trade with No Code
HIST DEL–(Historical Delinquency)
Reflects the Number of Tradelines with the Highest Delinquency Rating in Either the Max/Del or 24 Month History
(INQUIRY ALERT – SUBJECT SHOWS 3 INQUIRIES SINCE 11/93)
Alert Appears if Three or More Inquiries Occurred Past 90 Days.
PUBLIC RECORDS OR OTHER INFORMATION:
(****** PUBLIC RECORDS OR OTHER INFORMATION ******)
BKRPT (Bankruptcy) Date Filed, Court Number, Case Number, Liabilities, Assets, Exempt Amount, Filer, Type, Intent–Chapter Number
ST JD–(Satisfied Judgment) Date Filed, Court Number, Amount, Defendant, Case Number, Plantiff, Date Verified, Status, Date Satisfied
(****** COLLECTION ITEMS ******)
LIST–Date Assigned to Collection Agency
AMT–Total Amount of Collection
BAL–Balance as of Date Rpted.
DLA–Date of Last Activity (Payment to Client)
ECOA–Equal Credit Opportunity Act Designator
AGENCY–Collection Agency Member Number
CLIENT–Customer the Agency Represents
STATUS–Last Activity Reported
SERIAL–Account Serial Number
Accounts Not Reflecting Rating Type (Revolving, Open, Installments).
Member Name, Number and Date Inquired.
Two Years of Inquiry History Shown.
Firm /ID CODE-Name and Member Number of Reporting Company
(FIRM / IDENT CODE)
*-Trade Information from Automated Tape Supplier
TYPE OF ACCOUNT
O=Open Account (30,60,or 90 days)
CS-Current Status of Account
0 Too New to Rate; Approved But Not Used
1 Paid As Agreed; Satisfactory; Current
2 Pays 31-60 Days; Not More Than 2 Payments Past Due
3 Pays 61-90 Days; Not More Than 3 Payments Past Due
4 Pays 91-120 Days; Not More Than 4 Payments Past Due
5 Pays Over 120 Days; Not More Than 5 or More Payments Past Due
7 Making Regular Payments Or Paid Under Wage Earner Plan Or Similar Arrangements
9 Charged Off To Bad Debt
RPTD–Date Account Was Reported
BAL$–Balance Owed as of Reporting Date
DLA–Date of Last Activity on the Account
(30 60 90+)–Number of Times Account was 30, 60, or 90+ Days Late
MAX/DEL–Most Recent, Highest Delinquency Before the 24 Month History
Second Line ECOA CODES
A Authorized User
On Behalf Of
T Association With Account Terminated
OPND–Date Account Was Opened with Reporting Company
P/D–Past Due Amount as of Reporting Date
TERM–Monthly Repayment Amount or Number of Months or Years
24 MONTH HISTORY
Rate History for 24 Months Prior to Current Status, Slash(/) Separates Two 12 Month Periods. (Read from Left to Right)*=No Delinquency Reported This Month.
Accounts Grouped by Revolving, Open, and Installment. Within Each Group, Trades Sorted by Most Recent Date Reported. Totals Calculated for Limit, High Credit, Balance, Past Due and Terms within Each Group.
Grant Total for Limit, High Credit, Balance, Past Due and Terms.
This File Was Accessed by a Customer Using the Equifax Credit SAFESCAN Service, an Equifax Fraud Protection Service.
DATE FILE WAS ACCESSED:
Reading a Credit Report
Once you’ve obtained a copy of your credit report, you’ll be able to see what your creditors are saying about you. There’s just one problem — credit reports can be a little confusing.
Never fear! CCCS-OC is here to help. In the following paragraphs you’ll find a step-by-step explanation of how to read and interpret each section of your credit report.
Here you’ll find identifying information like your:
social security number
date of birth
spouse’s name (if applicable)
But don’t just skim over this section. Read all the entries to make sure everything is correct. One bad piece of information and the credit history listed on your report could be wrong.
Credit History Section
This is the meat of the report. It contains a list of your open and paid credit accounts and indicates any late payments reported by your creditors.
Although it may seem a little tedious, it’s essential that you read through this section very thoroughly. If you find any information that is incorrect or accounts that don’t belong to you, you’ll need to submit a dispute letter to the credit-reporting agency.
The basic format for the credit history section (see sample) is as follows:
Company Name – identifies the company that is reporting the information.
Account Number – lists your account number with the company.
Whose Account – Indicates who is responsible for the account and the type of participation you have with the account. Abbreviations may vary depending on the reporting agency but here are some of the most common:
I – Individual
U – Undesignated
J – Joint
A – Authorized User
M – Maker
T – Terminated
C – Co-maker/Co-signer
S – Shared
Date Opened – This is the month and year you opened the account with the credit grantor.
Months Reviewed – Lists the number of months the account history has been reported.
Last Activity – Indicates the date of the last activity on the account. This may be the date of your last payment or last charge.
High Credit – Represents the highest amount charged or the credit limit. If the account is an installment loan, the original loan amount will be listed.
Terms – For installment loans, the number of installments may be listed or the amount of the monthly payments. For revolving accounts, this column is often left blank.
Balance – Indicates the amount owed on the account at the time it was reported.
Past Due – This column lists any amount past due at the time the information was reported.
Status – A combination of letters and numbers are used to indicate the type of account of the timeliness of payment.
Abbreviations for the type of account are as follows:
O – Open
R – Revolving
I – Installment
Abbreviations for Timeliness of Payment varies among agencies.
Numbers are used to represent how current you are in your payments. Current or paid as agreed is usually represented by 0 or 1. Larger numbers (up to 9) indicate that an account is past due.
Date Reported – Indicates the last time information on this account was updated by your creditor.
Collection Accounts Section
If you’ve had any accounts referred to collection agencies in the last seven years, this is where they will be reported.
The name of the collection agency will be listed along with the amount you owe and, in some cases, their contact information. If a collection is listed on your report that doesn’t look familiar to you, contact the credit bureau and submit a dispute letter.
For your own piece of mind, you may also want to contact the collection agency to determine the nature of the account. Here’s why.
You may find out that the collection account is NOT yours. Perhaps it belongs to someone whose name or social security number is very similar to yours. If this is the case, ask the collection agency to acknowledge this fact in writing.
They should send a copy of the letter to you AND the credit reporting agency so that the mistaken information can be cleared from your report.
You may find out that the collection account IS yours.
If so, it is in your best interest to determine the accuracy of the amount of the collection account and make arrangements to satisfy your obligation as quickly as possible.
Once the collection account has been paid, you should request a letter from the collection agency to this effect. Again, make sure the credit reporting agency gets a copy of the letter so that they can list the account as paid.
Courthouse Records Section
This section may also be referred to as Public Records. Here you’ll find a listing of public record items (obtained from local, state and federal courts) that reflect your history of meeting financial obligations. These include:
Overdue child support (in some states)
Look closely at all the information listed here. If anything is mistaken, contact the credit bureau and submit a dispute letter.
This section consists primarily of former addresses and past employers as reported by your creditors.
Contains a list of the businesses that have received your credit report in the last 24 months. If you find the names of businesses that sound unfamiliar, you should find out who they are and why they’re looking at your credit!
The credit-reporting agency may be able to help you with contact information. Remember, only companies that have received your written authorization should be able to check your credit history.
Time information is retained
The length of time that information remains in your file varies.
Credit and collection accounts will be reported for 7 years from the date of the last activity with the original creditor.
If you’ve filed a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy, this information will be reported for 10 years from the date filed.
All other courthouse records will be reported for 7 years from date filed.
Pre-Employment Credit Report
Report requested by: Any Business
21 Any St
Tampa, Fl 12345
Phone: (123) 000.0000
Report dated: 8/21/09
Search results for:
Name = John B. Worker
SSN = 990000000
Address = 10000 N Ave. A, Tampa Fl 33615
NOTE: National Employment Screening, LLC assumes no liability for any claims for damages arising from the use of this data beyond the actual cost of the report performed.
EXPERIAN REPORT – 03/30/02
John B Workman
Nickname – JACK Workman
AKA – JOHN SMITh
AKA – JONATHAN SMITH Workman JR
123-56-7891 – SSN is different than input
123-56-6789 – SSN is different than input
10209 W. Hillsborough Ave 33615Last Sub: 01212002
1221 Memorial Hwt APT 1 Tampa Fl 33615 Last Sub:
*22215 Rocky Creek Dr #231 Tampa Fl 33615 Last Sub:
2211 Grand Central
1221 Valrico Road
30 day delinq
60 day delinq
# Derog Months
90 day delinq
**High, Limit and Payment values are calculated for open accounts only. Balances and Past Due items are calculated for all trade lines.
* Indicates estimated payment total
County tax lien released 07/01/95
SO Florida DISTRICT COURT
COUNTY SPR CT Hillsborough
Bankruptcy Chapter 13 – petition filed
U S BANKRUPTCY COURT
Mths 30 60 90
Subcode: 1211248 KOB: BC
Status: CURR ACCT
** Credit line closed – consumer request – reported by subscriber **
Loan Type: 18 CRC
18 00 00 00
Subcode: 2390446 KOB: DC
Status: DELINQ 180
** Account was in dispute – now resolved – reported by subscriber **
Loan Type: 07 CHG
BK ADJ PLN
99 01 01 04
ACE EMPLOYEES CREDIT UNION
Subcode: 1220855 KOB: BC
Status: CURR ACCT
Loan Type: 18 CRC
99 00 00 00
Subcode: 1299978 KOB: BC
Status: CURR ACCT
Loan Type: 18 CRC
85 00 00 00
Mths 30 60 90
Subcode: 2313849 KOB: DC
Status: CURR ACCT
Loan Type: 06 ISC
17 00 00 00
Subcode: 1132912 KOB: BI
Status: 30 DAY DEL
Loan Type: 00 AUT
31 01 00 00
Subcode: 1119999 KOB: BI
Status: 30 3 TIMES
Loan Type: 02 SEC
39 03 00 00
HOME Loan FINANCIAL
Subcode: 5935250 KOB: FM
Status: CURR ACCT
Loan Type: 08 R/E
92 00 00 00
Mths 30 60 90
CREDIT AND COLLECTION
Orig Creditor: DR. JOHN Houseman
Subcode: 3980999 KOB: YC
** Customer disputed account – reported by subscriber **
Loan Type: 31 UNK
20 00 00 00
AAA Travel CHARGE USA
Subcode: 3488520 KOB: N
Status: CURR ACCT
Loan Type: 18 CRC
34 00 00 00
/ / UNK
Tampa BAY COMPANY
1500 / / 0
/ / UNK
Fraud Shield / FACS+ Summary
Inquiry Address Message
Phone Answering Service
11299 Dale mabry
Tampa Fl 33602
From 03/01/96 inq count for ssn = 8
From 03/01/96 inq count for address = 15
Input SSN Issued 1965 – 1966
Onfile Address Message
2299 Regal St
Tampa Fl 32219
INPUT SSN RECORDED AS DECEASED
Statement Type: Victim statements – 03/30/07
**#Hk# Id Security Alert:
Fraudulent Applications May Be Submitted In My Name Or My Identity May Have Been Used Without My Consent To Fraudulently Obtain Goods Or Services.
Do Not Extend Credit Without First Contacting Me Personally And Verifying All Applicant Information. This Security Alert Will Be Maintained For 90 Days Beginning 05-01-02.
Consumer Assistance Referral:
701 EXPERIAN PARKWAY
PO BOX 949
ALLEN, TX 75013
END OF REPORT – EXPERIAN
For a copy of your credit report
To place a fraud alert in your file
Equifax (formerly CBI)
Experian (formerly TRW)
What can be taken off my credit report?
Any inaccurate, unverifiable accounts such as inquiries, old addresses, additional names on the report (you must have at least one name on your report), unpaid collections, charge-offs, repossessions, bankruptcies, medical bills, credit card debt, and divorce debts.
What can’t be taken off my credit report?
There are certain things that just can’t be removed from you’re your credit report. Those things are federal and state tax liens, child support, new student loans, and any bankruptcies reported by the bankruptcy court.
What is a Good Score?
The higher your credit score, the better; however, there is no real industry standard. Credit scores range from 350-850.
Each creditor/lender judges your credit score differently and takes other factors into consideration when determining your eligibility and/or risk. Typically, anything above 690 is considered a great score. Below a 620 is frequently referred to as “sub-prime.”
How often do Credit Scores Change?
Your credit score is fluid; it changes as your credit information changes. Anytime new information is added to your credit report, your credit score can change. The credit reporting agencies (Transunion, Equifax, Experian) usually update their credit data every 90 days.
I have a Number of Credit Cards. Will that Affect my Credit Score?
Your overall credit history will determine how your credit is affected by having numerous credit cards. However, having an overabundance of credit cards with high balances or credit availability can negatively impact risk scores if your credit history is questionable.
How do you begin to establish credit?
Consumers desirous of establishing a good credit record should start off by applying for a credit card. The companies that monitor credit history compile information based on your payments and responsible consumers build up a good credit report by promptly paying off what they owe. A second consideration, especially if the consumer did not qualify for a conventional credit card, is to apply for secured credit.
This method lessens the lender’s risk by having access to some kind of guaranty from the borrower in case of default. An alternative way is to have a person with a proven history of good credit co-sign a loan. These co-signers are a form of guarantee diminishing the lender’s risk of non-payment.
Is There a Rule of Thumb Regarding the Number of Credit Cards to Have?
In general, it’s better to have a few credit cards with high credit limits than a large number of cards with limited credit limits. Having credit cards with high credit limits demonstrates that you are responsible enough to carry a high credit limit on multiple cards.
Is it a Good Idea to Transfer my High Credit Card Balance to a New Card with a Rock-bottom Rate? If you want to transfer your credit card debt to a different card, you need to make sure that there are no catches with the introductory rate of the new card.
For example, sometimes the low introductory interest rate on a card is only for a very limited time and then it skyrockets to an exuberant amount. You also need to ask if there are annual fees, late charges, or any other stipulations that might make transferring your credit card debt to a new card counter-productive.
So what is Credit Monitoring?
Credit monitoring is the automated process of
keeping an eye on your credit. Credit monitoring helps protect you against identity theft and monitors any changes and/or inquiries made to your credit file by alerting you within approximately 24 hours of any major changes made to your credit file.
Will Credit Monitoring Hurt My Credit Score?
No. Credit monitoring has no affect to your credit score. It’s simply a service that keeps your credit in check. The only time it affects your credit is when you ask a creditor to inquire about your credit.
Does Credit Monitoring Monitor my Credit with all Three Bureaus?
The specific credit monitoring service you use will determine which credit bureau is referenced in monitoring your credit.
Each credit monitoring service uses only one of the three bureaus to monitor your credit; however, since the activity you’re looking out for affects your credit across the board, it won’t matter which bureau your credit monitoring service uses.
They’ll still be able to identify unexpected changes or discrepancies in your credit report.
How do I get a Hold of My Credit Report? There are three major credit bureaus that offer credit reports:
To get a copy of your credit report, contact one of these three bureaus. Each bureau interprets your credit information differently, so you might want to get a report from all three.
Can I get a Copy of My Credit Report at Any Time? By law, you’re entitled to one free credit report annually from the credit bureaus.
This can be accessed at: www.annualcreditreport.com – You can also request a free copy of your credit report if you were denied credit; however, you can only request a copy from the specific credit bureau that supplied the credit report to the creditor who denied you.
What Information do Credit Bureaus Collect about Me? Credit bureaus collect your identification information, employment history, credit inquiries, and any additional public records and data.
Our Automated Employment Screening provides an applicant controlled process that allows
FCRA compliant background check forms, including Electronic Chain-Of-custody forms
and releases to be completed online by the applicant.
We provide several short videos to easily acquaint you with the system.
This makes the background check process fast and easy.
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All forms, policies, information and procedures should be reviewed by your legal counsel before being used in any way.