Your payment history contains information on credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and any mortgages you may have had. It also details any past due accounts and the amount owed on them. You will also find bankruptcy information as well as other adverse information in regards to your credit history.
Your amount owed is the amount owed on any accounts you currently have and number of accounts with balances. Note that it has a large impact (30%) on your credit score. You should try to pay down all open lines of credit to under 30% of the available credit on each account that you have.
The length of your credit history details when credit accounts were opened and the last activity on those accounts.
New credit shows the number of recently opened accounts by the type of account and number of account inquiries.
The type of credit used is a snapshot of what types of financing you have held.
There are three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each of these credit bureaus maintains their information separately, which can cause the financial data to be slightly different among the three of them. Most experts agree that in order to get the best snapshot of your financial history and credit worthiness, it’s a good idea to request a report from each of the three reporting agencies.
If you find problems on your credit report, the credit bureau’s will work with you to correct the error. Also, be sure to place fraud alerts on your credit agency account to protect yourself from any kind of identity fraud. Be careful: each agency will try to “upsell” you into additional paid services.
It’s highly recommended that you review your credit report once a year, so you can identify and correct any errors before they create a problem when applying for credit. Changes in the law now allow consumers to receive their credit report for free once per year so they can identify these errors.
Failure to monitor your FICO score can lead to problems down the road when you apply for credit.