What is an Equifax credit report?

What is an Equifax credit report?
Video equifax credit reporting

An Equifax credit report contains information about an individual’s financial history and has five main types of information:

1. Personal information

This section includes identifying information like your full name, address, birthday and Social Security number. It may also show prior addresses, maiden names or any other names you’ve previously used.

2. Credit accounts

Creditors and lenders report information about your current and past accounts to Equifax, which is reflected in this section. Credit account information found in an Equifax credit report may include the following:

  • Open accounts
  • Closed accounts—including accounts that have been paid off
  • Type of credit account, like revolving credit, installment loan or mortgage
  • Age of the account and when it was opened
  • Credit limits on accounts, if applicable
  • Total loan amount
  • Payment history
  • Current balances on credit accounts

3. Credit inquiries

This section shows who has looked at your credit report—known as a credit inquiry or credit check. When a credit report is checked, it’s considered either a hard or soft inquiry.

Soft credit inquiries don’t affect credit scores. And even though they don’t affect your scores, they’ll appear on your Equifax credit report for up to two years. Examples of soft credit inquiries include checking your own credit report or receiving a pre-approval offer from a credit card company.

Hard inquiries happen when a lender or an individual accesses an individual’s credit report because they applied for credit or a service like phone, cable or internet. A hard inquiry can impact your credit scores and, like a soft inquiry, stay on your Equifax credit report for up to two years.

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4. Bankruptcies

This section includes any bankruptcy public record information. It can also include other details related to a bankruptcy, like the type and the filing date.

5. Collections accounts

Outstanding debt can be sent to a collection agency if a balance isn’t paid within a certain period of time. This information is then reported to Equifax and indicated on a credit report. This section can include past-due account information from the likes of the following:

  • Medical institutions
  • Banks
  • Retail stores
  • Cable companies
  • Mobile phone companies