How much do you know about what’s in your credit report? Many people may be aware of their score and might know the numerical breakdown—especially if they’ve been looking into getting loans or applying for a home mortgage recently—but there are components that affect your score.
When you decide to take a look at your credit report summary, here are 5 things you can expect to see:
- Your payment history: This shows you any positive or negative information showing up in your credit file. It shows any late payments or actions from collection agencies. For instance, if you have a business and declare bankruptcy, then you will see a dark mark on your credit history. Additionally, if you miss many payments for a credit card or loan, or if you’re making payments that are less than the minimum amount, then you will similarly see negative side effects for that.
- Available credit: This shows you what percentage of available credit you’re using and if you’re using too much or too little. Using too much credit can negatively impact your score. For instance, if you have too many active credit cards, it will count against you and actually lower your score.
- Credit age: Your credit age is how old your credit history is. You never want to close out your first credit card because otherwise the age of your credit history won’t appear to be as old. This will make it look like you have a younger history than you actually do, which will hurt your score overall.
- Range of credit: This part will show exactly what is on your report including mortgages, car loans, credit cards, and student loans. The more varied your credit history, the better for you. If you only have a bunch of credit cards open, then your score will lower because it will look like you don’t have any variety in your financial activity.
- Number of inquiries: Every time you apply for credit, it shows up on your account as a hit. It doesn’t deduct a ton of points from your credit score, luckily, but you want to avoid doing too many hard inquiries into your credit history. Soft inquiries, which you can do through sites like Credit Karma and through some credit cards, won’t negatively impact your credit score.
It’s important to be informed on the items in your credit report so you’ll know what other others are looking at too when they view your report