Free FICO (FICA) Score and Credit Report: What's In It

Although credit report formats vary from one credit reporting agency to another, there are clusters of information that appear as standards across all credit reports.

1. Personal Identifying Information

This typically includes your name, address, social security number, date of birth, and employment information. This information is lifted from application records that you have voluntarily supplied to lenders. These are updated as you fill in new applications with new information.

2. Trade Lines or Credit Accounts

Lenders send individual reports on each of the credit accounts you have opened. The reports are specific; including the type of loan or account approved, date of approval, loan amount or your credit limit, your balance, and your payment history.

3. Credit Inquiries

This section keeps a log of every company that has accessed your credit report for the last two years. The logs are usually classified as either a voluntary inquiry - when you request for your own report, or involuntary inquiry - when lenders request for your reports when you apply for credit.

4. Public Records and Collection

Gathered from state and county court records, this information includes filed bankruptcies, foreclosures, law suits, and overdue debts. Negative information in this section lasts for at least seven years.

It is ideal to subscribe to at least three different credit reports. They could serve as watchdogs of each other, helping you spot possible mistakes or oversights when differences arise in the reports. There are three items where mistakes most commonly occur:

1. Accounts listed

If an account is reflected in only one report, immediately make sure if this account belongs to you or not, and inform the concerned credit bureau for the necessary corrections.

2. Make sure you check your records for accounts that are listed as late or delinquent to find out whether you were really late in paying off or not.

3. Negative items gathered from public records

Make sure these are accurate, as they could have been incurred by someone with the same name

Getting Free Credit Report from the Government

You can retrieve your free credit report and free credit score from the government as described in the linked article.

A credit score is a numerical expression based on a statistical analysis of a person's credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of that person. A credit score is primarily based on credit report information typically sourced from credit bureaus.

Credit history or credit report is, in many countries, a record of an individual's or company's past borrowing and repaying, including information about late payments and bankruptcy. The term "credit reputation" can either be used synonymous to credit history or to credit score.

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