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Here's what information appears on your credit report

Credit reports summarize your past credit history. Here's what information you'll see on your credit report, what you won't, and why information may vary between reports.

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The next time you apply for a credit card, loan or mortgage, the lender will likely request access to your credit report.

The information listed in your credit report summarizes how you manage credit, including payment history and account balances. This factors into the lender's understanding of how you manage financial products and whether they should extend credit to you or not.

Beyond understanding your qualification odds, another reason to know what information appears on your credit report is so you can spot fraud early. Incorrect information listed on your credit report can negatively affect your approval odds or reduce the chances you qualify for the best products and interest rates. But if you check your credit report for errors and dispute them, you can improve your credit history.

The three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) are now offering weekly free credit reports to all Americans for through April 2020 so you can review your finances.

Below, CNBC Select reviews what information you can expect to see on your credit report, what's left off and why the information may vary between reports.

What information appears on your credit report?

Credit reports include a variety of information about you and your accounts, inquiries and public records. You'll often find the following types of information on all of your credit reports, regardless of the bureau.

Personal information

  • Full name and any alternative names you may have used in past credit applications, such as surnames prior to marriage, nicknames and your name without your middle name.
  • Birth date
  • Current and prior addresses associated with your credit accounts
  • Phone numbers associated with your credit accounts
  • Social security number
  • Current and past employers you've listed on credit applications

Accounts

  • Current and historical credit accounts from the past seven to 10 years, including revolving (credit cards) and installment accounts (mortgages and loans)
  • Name of the creditor/lender
  • Opening date and/or closure
  • Status, such as current or past due
  • Credit limit (for credit cards) or loan amount
  • Balances, such as current and highest
  • Payment history
  • Utility accounts or rental leases (when reported through services such as Experian Boost)

Inquiries

  • Companies that have pulled your credit report
  • When your report was accessed

Public records

  • Bankruptcies
  • Liens
  • Foreclosures
  • Civil suits and judgments

Information that does not appear on your credit report

Credit reports include a lot of information, but they also leave off some personal and financial details. Here's what details you won't find on your credit report:

  • Marital status
  • Income
  • Bank account details
  • Education

Note that the above information also doesn't impact your credit score. However, some details, such as your bank account history and income, may factor into a lender's decision for credit card, mortgage and loan applications.

Why does information differ between credit reports?

When you check your credit reports with each bureau, the information listed may vary between reports. A side-by-side comparison may show more inquiries on one report versus another, or different balances listed. This can happen since creditors aren't required to report your account to any or all bureaus. However, most creditors report to at least one bureau.

For instance, a creditor may check your credit with Experian. This results in an inquiry on your Experian credit report, but may not appear on your Equifax or TransUnion reports.

Learn more: Keeping track of your credit report doesn't have to be a manual process if you sign up for a credit monitoring service. CNBC Select ranked the best free and paid credit monitoring services that automatically provide daily alerts for new information on your credit report, access to your credit score and more.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.