Credit Reports

Credit reports detail your borrowing history. If you can't remember who your loan holder is or have additional loans or other credit accounts you did not find on NSLDS, check your credit report.

Credit reports are reviewed by lenders when deciding to offer credit to applicants; it's a good practice to know what your report says about you. The following information is contained in a report:

  • Personal Information – name, address (current and prior), social security number, date of birth, and employment
  • Credit Information – current open accounts, closed accounts, rating and number of day(s) delinquent, timeliness of repayment, installment or open ended
  • Public Record Information – bankruptcy, legal judgment, property lien, warrants

Delinquent credit or derogatory credit will remain on your credit report for seven years. Public record information can remain on your credit report for up to 15 years.

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax; Experian and TransUnion) to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months, from AnnualCreditReport.com. It is a good idea to check on your credit at least once a year in case of reporting errors and to detect identity theft.

  • AnnualCreditReport.com is the only authorized website to request a free yearly credit report. Other sites may provide a free report only after requiring a paid subscription. Your credit report contains complete information about your credit and you don’t need a credit score (known as a FICO score) unless you are planning a major purchase like a home or car. If you want your FICO score, you will be given the opportunity to purchase that information after you have received your free credit report.

Why should you care about your credit score?

Your credit score is a quick way for financial institutions to assess how responsible you are in paying your bills and how risky you are as a potential borrower. The higher your score, the less risk you pose and the more likely you will get the best available interest rates.

Your credit score affects which credit card you’re ultimately approved for and whether your credit card has good terms or bad terms. Many potential employers also look at credit reports as a way to judge a person’s responsibility. Your good credit may actually help you land a new job!

Good vs. Bad Credit:  How does it affect you?

The FICO credit score range is between 850 and 300. Consumers with scores above 700 are usually charged relatively low rates. Getting good rates means saving money – a lot of money. Good credit score = $$$ Savings

What You WantBad Credit ScoreGood Credit Score
Credit Cards

Denied or charged high interest rates

20% APR on $2,000 balance with $50 monthly payment = $380.60 in interest in one year

Lower interest rates

10% APR on $2,000 balance with $50 monthly payment = $181.14 in interest in one year

Car Loan

Denied or charged high interest rates that make it difficult to make your monthly car payments

10% interest on $10,000 for 4 years = $253.63 monthly payment

Total repayment: $12,174.24

Total interest: $2,174.24

Lower interest rates

3% interest on $10,000 for 4 years = $221.34.32 monthly payment

Total repayment: $10,624.32

Total interest: $624.32

Electricity, Phone, Cable, Internet

Security deposit required – often twice the cost of your average monthly bill

Monthly bill $100 X 2 = $200 paid up front

No deposit required

$200 in your pocket

Apartment Lease

Denied for poor credit or charged extra security deposit

Move in
Cell Phone

Denied phone contract

Contract approved
New Job

Turned down for high debt, bankruptcy, or outstanding bills

Hired
Insurance

Higher premiums

Lower premiums
Mortgage

Denied because lenders think you're a risk

Approved