Structure of the Credit Report

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Credit reports normally contain the following sections:

  1. Borrower background information
  2. Credit score
  3. Credit history
  4. Inquiries
  5. Public records
  6. Consumer comments
  7. Creditor information

Background information

The background information section occupies the upper portion of the front page of the credit report and usually contains the following data:

  • Subject identification. This section identifies the applicant's full name, home address and social security number. The credit report will also list other name arrangements and social security numbers used and previously recorded by the applicant.
  • Marital information. This section displays the applicant's reported current marital status, dependents and prior marriages. In most cases, this is obtained from the URLA 1003 application form submitted by the applicant.
  • Employment. This section identifies the applicant's current employer, position and income level; this information is normally obtained from the application form completed by the applicant. Previous employers, positions, income and dates of employment are also provided, if they have been previously reported to the credit bureau.
  • Housing. If available or reported, this section identifies the applicant's: current housing type (rent or ownership) and monthly housing expense.
  • Additional income. If secondary or non-employment income has been reported, that amount will be identified in this section.
  • Report order data. This section identifies the report's processing information, such as when the report was ordered, the creditor who ordered it and information about the loan or credit being considered.

Credit score

The first page of the credit report usually indicates the borrower's automated credit scoring.

Each of the three major consumer credit repositories (TransUnion, Experian/TRW and

Equifax/CBI) use their own software to calculate the consumer's credit score. More information about credit scores are provided in the "Credit Grading" section below.

Credit history

The credit history section of the credit report normally appears in the following manner: Sample Credit Report

Account Information

Current Status

Historical Status


Credit Grantor

Last Date Report

Date Opened

Highest Credit

Balance Owed

Past Due Amount

# of Months Reviewd

30-59 Days Only

60-89 Days Only

90+ Days Late

Type, Term, Manner of Payment

CITIBANK 1234-5678-9012-3456






















Average credit reports normally span at least four pages. Obviously, consumers who have opened many creditor accounts during the past seven years will have longer credit reports.

The credit history portion of the report will normally contain at least nine types of information, which are divided and subdivided into columns. A more detailed discussion of each column field is provided after the following list:

  1. Credit grantor. The reporting creditor, lender or collection agent is identified in the first column.
  2. Date last reported. This column indicates the month and year in which the creditor most recently reported the status of the account.
  3. Date opened. The beginning date for the credit account is listed in this column.
  4. Highest credit. This column indicates either the maximum credit limit or the original loan balance.
  5. Balance owed. This column identifies the current balance.
  6. Past due amount. Any past due amounts are listed in this column.
  7. Number of months reviewed. This column provides a tally of the number of months that the creditor had reported on the account.
  8. Frequency and duration of late payments. Payments that were reported as more than 30 days late are identified in these three columns.
  9. Credit payment type. This column identifies the type of payments required by the creditor.
  10. Terms and manner of payment. This final column identifies payment amounts--if known--and the applicant's record of payments.

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