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What will I see on my credit report?

What will I see on my personal credit report? How long does information stay on my credit report? The article below will answer common questions about your online credit report with Experian.

Whether it's a payment you missed last month or a charge off account from five years ago, many of us have an item or two on our credit report that we'd like to remove. And no matter what you may have heard, attempting to remove accurate information on your credit report is illegal. This may leave you with a few questions:

"Does credit information stay with me forever?"
"How do I show that I'm responsible with my credit now?"
"When is information erased from my credit report?"

Whether it's a pesky late payment or something a little more serious, the truth is, information doesn't stay on your credit report forever. Your credit report can be broken into five categories: personal identification, credit information, public record information, inquiries, and personal statements. We'll review an element of your report each month.

Personal identification information

This includes your:
- Name and variations (i.e. John Smith, John J. Smith, Jonathan Smith, etc)
- Address / previous addresses
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- Employer / previous employers
- Name of spouse

Personal identification information will stay on your report indefinitely. In case there is only space for one piece of information, like "name of spouse," that information will be updated when a credit bureau is notified of a change. These changes will typically come from credit applications, when you update a creditor with your new information or if you contact the credit bureau directly.

TIP: One of the most common ways a credit bureau receives updates to your personal identification information is from applications or forms that you have filled out and submitted to lenders. To ensure that the information on your

is as clean as possible, make an effort to fill out all forms clearly, completely and consistently.

Credit information

Credit information is all data pertaining to your history with card issuers, banks, retailers and other lenders. This information includes your payment history for most active and non-active credit cards, automobile loans, mortgages, retail cards, possibly even your cell phone. Some of the information reported includes:

- Date account was opened
- Credit limit on account or loan amount
- Current balance
- Monthly payment
- Your relationship to the account (i.e. primary borrower, co-signer)

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, your credit report cannot maintain adverse credit information that is older than seven years. Adverse information is any information that would cause you to be denied credit, employment, insurance, a license, or government benefit. For seriously derogatory information, such as repossession, collection account, charge-off, or a foreclosure, the credit grantor must identify the first delinquency that led to the derogatory condition. This delinquency begins the seven-year retention period.

The good news is that positive information can stay on your credit report indefinitely as long as that account stays active. In the case of an account that you close, if it was paid in full (there are no outstanding debts with you and that lender) the account will remain for about ten years. Remember, any negative information on the history of that closed account will still only last for seven years.

TIP: A common concern when looking at your credit report is that there are accounts listed that you thought have long since been closed. This could be due to one of a few reasons. First, you may not have officially closed the account. Unfortunately just cutting those credit cards up does not mean your account is closed. If you are unsure about whether you actually closed your account, call that lender's customer service department and ask them to close that account. Another possible reason is that the account information on your credit report is inaccurate. In that case, you can dispute that information online through the Credit Report section in Credit Manager.

Public record information

Public record information pertains to bankruptcies, tax liens, monetary judgments and, in some states, overdue child support. Basically, this term is reserved for transactions that have been facilitated by the court system. Unlike credit information, the length of time this type of information stays on your credit report varies depending on the type of filing. Chapter 7, 11 and 12 bankruptcies will remain for 10 years. Unpaid tax liens will last for 15 years, while paid tax liens and all other public record information will stay on your report for seven years.

TIP: If you are considering filing for bankruptcy as a possible option for debt relief, it is important to look closely at how long this will remain on your credit report. Only then can you decide if you are prepared to deal with the impact this will have on your future financial plans. If you have public record information on your credit report, the good news is that the older the delinquency, the less of an impact it may have on your ability to obtain credit.

Requests for your credit history

We make your credit history available to your current and prospective creditors and employers as allowed by law. Personal data about you may be made available to companies whose products may interest you. There are two types of requests for your credit history: requests viewed by others and requests viewed only by you.
Requests viewed by others This section lists all that have requested in the recent past to review your credit history as a result of actions involving you, such as the completion of a credit application or the transfer of an account to a collection agency, application for insurance, mortgage or loan application, etc. These requests remain on your credit report for two years Creditors may view these requests when evaluating your creditworthiness.

Requests viewed by only you- This section lists all who have a permissible purpose by law and have requested in the recent past to review your information. you may not have initiated these requests, so you may not recognize each source. We offer information about you to those with a permissible purpose, for example, to

· other creditors who want to offer you preapproved credit;
· an employer who wishes to extend an offer of employment;
· a potential investor in assessing the risk of a current obligation;
· Experian or other credit reporting agencies to process a report for you;
· your existing creditors to monitor your credit activity

We report these requests only to you as a record of activities. We do not provide this information to other creditors who evaluate your creditworthiness.

TIP: You may have heard that having too many inquiries on your credit report can negatively impact your credit rating. It is important to realize that not all requests for your history are viewed by creditors that are determining your creditworthiness. Only you may view those inquiries that you did not personally initiate.

Personal statements

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you may add a personal statement, which is a general explanation about your personal credit report that sets forth the nature of your dispute. It remains a part of your report for two years and displays to anyone who reviews your report. For example, if you add a statement about being unemployed for six months, then everyone, including a potential employer, would know about your lapse in work. It may be in your best interest to just explain your specific circumstances when you apply for credit.

It is important to realize that accurate information cannot be removed from your credit report. If you feel that any of the information on your credit report is inaccurate, you can request an investigation of this information online. Join Credit Manager, view your credit report and choose the Dispute button on the top right corner. It is also important to note that your credit report does not contain (and Experian does not collect) data about race, religious preference, medical history, personal lifestyle, political preference, criminal record or any other information unrelated to credit.

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Common Experian Misspellings: Experion | Expedian | Experience | Esperian | Experien
Common Equifax Misspellings: Equafax | Ecuafax | Equfax | Euifax | Ecuifax | Equifacts

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