What Your Credit Report Tells About Your Credit CardsOctober 29, 2010 - 8:47 am
If your credit card reports to the three major credit bureaus, as most credit cards do, then nearly everything you do with your credit card appears on your credit report. Your credit report is a compilation of your credit-based activity. It’s the basis of your credit score, the number that creditors, lenders, employers, insurance companies, and other businesses use to make decisions about you.
Your Payment Status
Each month, your credit card issuer updates your credit report to show whether that month’s payment was received on time. If you’re on time or less than 30 days late, your payment status is reported as “Ok.” However, if you’re more than 30 days late, your credit report is updated to show the late payment. Late payments progress each month you’re late, all the way up to 180 days late. Late credit card payments stay on your credit report for seven years, even if you’ve caught up on your credit card payments.
Though credit reports usually only show the last 24 months of payment history, previous late payments will appear in a comment section. For example, it may say “30 days late one time” or “90 days late two times.” These comments stay until those delinquencies are seven years old.
If you’re currently past due, your credit report will show the past due amount.
How Much You Charge
Your credit report will show your credit limit, current credit card balance, and highest balance ever charged on your credit report. This tells businesses whether you’ve handled your credit limit responsibly. Some credit card issuers don’t report credit limits. In this case, the credit bureau will typically use the highest credit card balance charged as the credit limit.
Your minimum monthly payment is also listed.
The name of the creditor and a few digits of your account number is listed to identity the account.
The credit card account type will show up on your credit report. Credit cards will either show as revolving or open-ended (charge cards). It will also show whether the card is individually held, a joint account, or if you’re an authorized user on the account.
Most of this information doesn’t factor directly into your credit score. However, if you’re an authorized user, some credit score calculations may ignore that credit card account completely. That means the account – positive or negative – be included in your credit score.
Your credit report lists the date your account was opened and the date your account was last reported. If your account is closed or has a $0 balance, the date last reported may not be current.
Verify Your Credit Card Data
Because clerical errors happen, you can’t take for granted that all your credit card data will be accurate. It’s important that you check your credit reports regularly, at least once a year or before you apply for a credit card or loan. You can check your credit reports free once annually by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.