If you don’t know what’s in your credit file, you might be in for some trouble the next time you want to apply for a loan or credit card. Your credit file is the thing that will make potential creditors know that you’re an actual responsible person – and not just someone that will run off with the money into the sunset.
But even so, there’s something that we like to call “privacy;” so eventually, the question “what’s exactly on my credit file” might pop up at some point. So what’s the deal with credit files?
What Is My Credit File?
A credit file is a statement that has all the information regarding your credit activity, but also your current credit situation. It’s common for Australians to have more than one credit file, depending on the companies that they work with. Lenders will use these reports to decide whether you are worth the risk to be given a loan or not, but also to settle on an interest rate for you. Your credit file will act as insurance, a mirror to whether you can hold up to your end of the deal or not.
What Can I Find on My Credit File?
To feed your curiosity as a member of our Aussie society, here’s what lenders will be able to see on your credit report.
Your Identification Information
If you’re continuously asking yourself “what in the world is on my credit file,” the first thing you will see there is this: your personal data that proves you are not some alien from outer space. This will include your name, your address, your birthday, your mobile phone number, and any other piece of information that a credit company might find useful about you.
This section of your credit file will not, however, include your gender, your ethnicity, or your income. While many may believe that the income should be the first concerned, it is also common knowledge that the income doesn’t always stay the same.
Payment History and Accounts
Most of the information bulk on your credit file is made out of payment history and various accounts. Depending on when you started taking advantage of the credit, this part may be empty or several pages long. So, if you are wondering “what’s on my credit file,” you should know this: you can find activity information on every account that you have opened or closed over the past ten years.
Furthermore, you will see the name, as well as the address for every lender that you collaborated with. You’ll see the exact amount that you borrowed, the credit limit that you had, the balance that you currently owe, and your payment history. Your credit file is like the eye in the shadow: if you missed a payment, it will know – and it will stick like acne to your face. Once creditors see this, they will also know that you tend to miss your due date – which also makes you seem like an unreliable client. Savings and checking accounts won’t appear on your credit file.
Credit files have information lists from public records that go on a local to state and federal level. For instance, if you have filed bankruptcy over the past ten years, it will appear on your credit file – even if you have been discharged. Also, if you went through a foreclosure over the last seven years, it will also pop up on your credit file. Any wage garnishments, tax liens, and monetary court judgments will also appear in the section meant for public records. Collection accounts, too, will typically appear in the public records group of your credit file.
Every time some company does a check of your credit report, its name will appear in your credit file that will disclose your credit inquiries. These inquiries are further divided into two different sections: one for soft inquiries and one for hard inquiries. If you want to apply for credit, it will instantly go into hard inquiries. This could eventually affect your credit score since you are the one to initiate it. Soft inquiries, on the other hand, weren’t initiated by you, so your credit score will not be affected. Nonetheless, both types of inquiries will disappear from your credit report after two years.
So, “what’s my credit file?” Well, credit files are literally mirrors of you, a public journal that every credit company you come into contact with can see. “With every breath you take, every step you make, we’ll be watching you.” Okay, maybe not in such a creepy way – but they’ll know everything that deals with your credit.
If you feel on edge and think that your credit file is not at its best, you may want to contact a credit repair company. Speak to one of our friendly team members at Clean Credit today and we’ll give you some advice on your situation and what to do so that “Big Brother” will be happy with what he sees.