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From the Experts at

What Is a Consumer Credit Report?

by Lucy Lazarony

What Is A Consumer Credit Report

What’s in a credit report? A whole bunch of stuff pertaining to your financial life.

A consumer credit report has four main categories of information: personal information, account information, public records and inquiries.

Banks, lenders, credit card companies, cell phone companies, landlords and potential employers all review consumer credit reports.

So it’s smart to know what’s in your credit reports. And you’ll want to correct any mistakes.

Personal Information

This section of a consumer credit report contains:

  • Your name and any former names
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your current and former addresses
  • Your current and former employers

Watch out for addresses that you don’t recognize or variations of your name that you don’t use. These are mistakes that could alert you to identity theft or a credit report error that could be negatively affecting your credit scores.

Account Information

This section of a consumer credit report lists detailed information on your financial accounts such as:

  • Credit cards
  • Mortgages and home equity loans
  • Car loans and leases
  • Personal and student loans

Every account listed includes the following details:

  • Name of the lender
  • Your account number
  • Date the account was opened
  • Date the account was closed (if this is applicable)
  • Original balance on the account
  • Your current balance
  • Your monthly payment amount
  • Your payment history
  • Your current status (paid as agreed, 30 days late, etc.)

Public Record Information

This section of a consumer credit report lists your public records such as:

  • Civil court judgments
  • Property and tax liens
  • Bankruptcies

You will also find information on collection accounts listed in this section of your credit report.


The inquiries section of your credit report contains a record of all the companies that have checked your credit report in the past two years.

A company that wants your business may check your credit before sending you a promotional offer and companies that you already do business with such as a bank or credit card company may check your credit as well. But these inquiries won’t impact your credit score.

The inquiries that will be factored into your credit score are the ones you initiate when you apply for a mortgage, car loan, credit card or other form of credit. Any time you fill out an application for credit, you give the lender permission to pull a copy of your credit report.

Reviewing your credit report

For a free overview and explanation of your credit report and to see your credit scores for free, check out’s Credit Report Card.

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