What is NOT Included in a Credit Report?
We’ve already discussed what IS included in your credit report, and while one could infer that any omissions from that list would amount to what is NOT included, we all still thirst for specifics. Let’s therefore take a closer look at what you will not find in your credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
First of all, it’s important to note that the major credit bureaus tend to include and exclude the same types of information. Sure, there may be some slight discrepancies here and there, depending on each bureau’s sources and information gathering techniques, but the fundamentals are fairly uniform.
That’s partly due to the fact that credit reporting agencies are actually prohibited from tracking certain types of information by federal law, as you’ll see below. Overall, the types of information not included in your credit report can be grouped into the following categories:
The information in your credit reports is used in myriad ways by a wide range of companies – from banks and other lenders to Fortune 500 companies – but the most notable credit report derivative is the credit score.
Your credit score is generated based on information on your credit report, but you will not find this numerical manifestation of your financial responsibility on the report itself. It’s a separate entity, and while credit reports are free to access, you often have to buy your credit score.
Contrary to popular belief, credit reports do not contain information about every type of financial account or bill that you might have. You therefore won’t find mention of the following on your credit report:
- Checking Accounts
- Savings Accounts
- Debit Cards
- Prepaid Cards
- Non-Delinquent Medical Bills
- Non-Delinquent Utility Payments (in certain states even delinquent utility bills won’t be included)
- Rewards Earnings
- Private Loans
Federal law prohibits discrimination based on faith, sex, political viewpoints, or affiliation with specific groups or causes. As such, your credit reports will not include mention of your:
- Political Affiliation
In addition, laws dictate the length of time that certain information can remain on your credit reports in order to prevent undue punishment for the respective “offenses.” You should therefore notify the credit bureaus and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if any of the following are still on your file:
- Bankruptcies More Than 10 Years Old
- Accounts Charged-Off More Than 7 Years Ago
- Accounts Sent to Collections More Than 7 Years Ago
The major credit bureaus do not include non-financial public information like arrest records and criminal convictions on your credit reports. However, “if anyone runs a complete/thorough background check on someone, their legal history as well as their credit history will be accessible,” according to Dr. Deborah Thorne, who teaches finance at Ohio University. “Both are public.”
Image: Mikhail hoboton Popov/Shutterstock
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