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Five Things You Won’t Find On Your Credit Report

Often, we think of credit reports as containing everything about us. And, while your credit report likely contains detailed information about your loans, and about bills you haven’t paid (or paid late), and even your rent payments in some cases [3], there are some items that are left off of your credit report.

As you consider what others see of your situation, realize that not everything is available to potential lenders and others who see your credit report. Here are 5 items you won’t find listed on your credit report:

1. Salary/Net Worth

Your credit report shouldn’t include your salary, or your net worth. This is information that does not reflect your credit habits, so it is not considered particularly relevant to your ability to make payments on time — although it can indicate your capacity.

However, just because the information isn’t on your credit report doesn’t mean that lenders don’t want it. And it doesn’t mean that they can’t infer your income and net worth. In fact, the Federal Reserve is allowing estimates to be made of your income, according to The Wall Street Journal [4]:

The bureaus use credit-record information, such as the size of your credit lines and the age and size of your mortgage, and plug it into models to predict your earnings. Those estimates also may be used to double-check the income you report on credit applications or to determine if you should be pre-approved for credit.

2. Employment Status

Some elements of your employment history might appear on your credit report if you include the information on a credit application. Some reports, though, won’t list your dates of employment — just the employer. And your credit report won’t have a record of whether you are still employed. The last employer I have listed on a credit report is one I haven’t worked for in nine years.

3. Criminal History

For the most part, your legal misdeeds don’t appear on your credit report. Your arrest history isn’t listed on your credit report, nor are traffic tickets and other problems. The main exception is when some sort of debt becomes involved. If your unpaid traffic tickets go to collection, though, it can be listed, as can judgments and liens, and even child support, since it is a regular obligation.

4. Certain Types of Debt

There are some kinds of debt that may not show up your credit report. Medical debt you owe to a hospital isn’t supposed to be on your credit report, since it can compromise your medical privacy. Other types of loans, such as those from pawn shops or car title loans aren’t transactions that show up, either.

Of course, once any of these accounts goes to collections, or if you use a credit card to pay a medical bill, the debt can show up on your credit report.

5. Spousal Credit History

Your credit history remains your own after you marry [5], so your spouse’s credit history won’t show up on your report (although your spouse’s name may show up when you check your own report, others pulling your history shouldn’t see it). However, if you have joint accounts, they will show up each report. Indeed, since I co-signed on one of my husband’s student loans, it shows up on my credit report. Also, be aware of the property situation in your state. In a common property state, your spouse’s unpaid debts — even if your name isn’t on them — become yours.

Be aware of your credit, and understand that some items won’t show up on your credit report, just as long as you don’t end up with accounts going to collections.

(Photo: crystalfrequencies [6])