Credit Made Simple Presented by the Financial Aid Office and the Medical Alumni Association What is credit? “Credit” is a promise to pay later, under designated terms, for goods and services Your “credit” means your credit file, or credit report
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Presented by the Financial Aid Office and the Medical Alumni Association
This example is from Equifax and is available on their website.
Every credit report will look different!
The personal information section lists your name, social, date of birth, addresses, employer, and any consumer statements.
It is common to have errors and misspellings in this section of your credit report.
The summary section shows all of your accounts, listing the total balances and how many accounts are past due.
The summary section will give a list of your accounts and their information in short format.
Your credit report may also have a more detailed summary section, where accounts are listed by status: Open, Closed, In good standing, Past Due, etc.
Your credit report will then show details for each credit account that you have, whether it’s open or closed. The account details show the type of loan, your balance, loan terms, payment amounts, and payment history.
Closed accounts will continue to show on your credit report for seven years.
Revolving accounts, such as credit cards, will show the current balance, the “high credit” (highest balance ever held), and the credit limit.
It is not unusual for your payment history to be missing for some months. A payment status of “NR” (Not Reported) is fine.
After your account information, your credit report will show all of the inquiries about you.
There are two types:
Hard inquiries: Inquiries into your credit history as a result of you attempting to obtain credit.
Soft inquiries: Not caused by you seeking credit. Could be a promotional inquiry from a credit company, or one of your existing creditors monitoring your credit report.
Your credit report will also list any collections and public records such as judgments, bankruptcies, and liens.
If you find an error:
The exact formula is a secret, but this is the overall breakdown:
Estimate your credit score: moneycentral.msn.com/investor/creditreport/main.asp
Build good credit by paying your bills on time.
There is no quick fix!
You may need a credit counselor if:
“Identity theft” is when someone uses your accounts, or uses your personal information to obtain credit accounts
Common ways identity thieves get info:
You are not liable for the damage caused by an identity thief, but fixing it can take a lot of time and energy.
If you think someone has your information, or if you are a victim of identity theft:
For help with budgeting, credit, or any financial concerns, come by the Financial Aid Office any time, Monday-Friday, 8-5.