Credit scores are based upon information on the credit report. This is the only information used to predict credit behavior. The next question is, which data is and is not included in a credit report?
Data normally included in a credit report
Here is a list of data included in a credit report:
Personal information such as name, address, Social Security Number, and date of birth are included.
Account information such a balance or loan amount, credit limit or original loan amount, payment dates, and the rating of how you have been paying.
Collections handled by third party collection agencies.
Public records, such as tax liens, bankruptcies and civil judgments are included.
Credit application information such as personal information and former addresses are included.
Inquiries initiated by you which are considered “hard” inquiries. It includes the name of the company that made the inquiry and the date of it. For example, a hard inquiry results from applying for new credit such a credit card or loan such as mortgage, student or vehicle.
Data not included in credit report
Here is a list of data not included in a credit report:
Salary history including public assistance is not included.
Medical history is not included.
Personal information such as gender, marital status, divorces, marriages, race, religion, nationality, personal lifestyle and political affiliation is excluded.
Financial institution accounts such as checking, savings, and brokerage. Only non-sufficient funds (NSF) checks from checking that has been sent to a collection agency are reported.
Insurance claims are not reported.
Payday loans, debit cards and PREPAID DEBIT CARDS are not reported.
Credit card individual transactions are not included. For example, the shoes you charged on your Visa Card.
Property tax records are not included.
Arrest records or criminal records are not reported.
“Soft inquiries” are not included. Soft inquiry examples are pre-approved offers for credit, creditors that monitor your account, employer request for your credit, utilities request for your credit report (excluding telecommunications companies, and when you review or monitor your credit report.
You need to be concerned with the information on your credit report, because it is the only information input into the credit scores. The other information doesn’t impact the credit score, but other information can be used in the credit granting decision for a mortgage or auto such as income and assets.
Credit Reporting Expert, John Ulzheimer, is the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com, the credit blogger for Mint.com, founder of www.creditexpertwitness.com and a Contributor for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. He is an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring and identity theft. Formerly of FICO, Equifax and Credit.com, John is the only recognized credit expert who actually comes from the credit industry. You can follow John on Twitter here.