Q:

How do you read a credit report?

A:

Quick Answer

Read a credit report by looking at the Consumer Info section to check you are viewing the right report, checking the Credit Summary section for types of accounts and then concentrating on the Account History. Look at the last two sections for details of any court orders and inquiries.

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Full Answer

  1. Check the Consumer Info section

    Check the Consumer Info section of the credit report to ensure you are reviewing the correct report. There may be different variations of the name listed in the Also Known As subsection.

  2. Review the Credit Summary section

    Review the Credit Summary section to see the different types of credit accounts that are open. These include real estate accounts, revolving accounts and installment accounts. Each listing includes the account number, creditor, amount owed per month and when the account was opened.

  3. Read the Account History section

    This section typically contains the greatest amount of information, including specific details about every credit account ever obtained.

  4. Check the Public Records section

    Check the Public Records section for court orders and judgments. This section includes information regarding any bankruptcies, civil judgements and evictions.

  5. Review Credit Inquiries

    The last section of the credit report consists of a list of all credit inquiries. This information includes both hard and soft credit checks.

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