Reading a Credit Report

Credit reports can be very confusing to read at times. There is a lot of information to decipher, codes that may not always make sense, etc. There are some basic things to know that may help when you are looking at a credit report.

While there are several different scoring models available for each bureau, we use only the ones that are accepted by Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMAC) and those are:

  • Trans Union – FICO Classic 04
  • Equifax – Beacon 5.0
  • Experian – Fair Isaac Version 2
  • When trying to understand scores the most important things to look at are the score factors that are listed under each score. Those are in order of importance and each one carries a different point valuation. The numbers that you see next to each score factor are not the number of points that particular factor has. They are just internal numbers assigned by the bureaus for that factor.

    When looking at each individual account the ECOA code (Equal Credit Opportunity Act) needs to be looked at to determine the borrower’s relationship to that account:

  • A – Authorized user – the borrower is not responsible for the account
  • B – Borrower
  • C- Co-borrower
  • I – Individual account
  • J – Joint Account
  • M – Maker – the borrower is primarily responsible having a co-signed with no spousal relationship
  • S – Signer or Co-Maker – borrower is a co-signed, no spousal relationship
  • P- Participant – borrower is joint on the account but the contractual liability can not be determined
  • T – Terminated – borrower is no longer associated with this account
  • X – Deceased – the borrower has been reported as deceased
  • U – Undesignated – The account has not yet been designated
  • Next to the ECOA code is a column that says “whose.” On a joint credit report this designates who the primary borrower is on the account.

  • B: The repositories have this under the borrower’s name
  • C: The repositories have this under the co borrower’s name
  • J: The repositories have this under two borrower’s names. This could be the two borrowers that are on the credit report together or it could be one of the borrowers and someone who is not on this credit report
  • Each account on the credit report also contains certain information:

  • Creditor: Name of the creditor as reported to the repositories
  • Date Reported: The last date the account was reported by the creditor
  • Date Opened: The date the account was originally opened
  • DLA: Date of last activity – the last time any activity took place on the account
  • High Credit: The highest amount borrowed on the account or highest amount available if revolving
  • Balance: What is currently owed
  • Terms: The first number indicates the # of months and the second number is the monthly amount
  • Past Due Amount: any amount that is past due on the account
  • MOS REV: The number of months the account has been reviewed
  • 30/60/90: The number of times the account has been 30/60/90 days past due
  • Each account will also list what type of account it is:

  • MTG: Mortgage
  • INST: Installment loan
  • AUTO: Auto Loan
  • CHARGE: Charge card (not revolving)
  • COLL: Collection account
  • REV: Revolving account
  • OPEN: Open account
  • EDU: Education loan
  • COSI: Co – signed account
  • LEAS: Leased account
  • The accounts will also include the status of the account:

  • AS AGREED – current/paid as agreed
  • CUR was 30, 60, 90 or 120 – the acct is now current but was past due
  • CUR WAS COLL – the acct is now current but was in a collection status
  • CUR WAS REPO- the acct is now current but was a repossession
  • CUR WAS FORE – the acct is now current but was a foreclosure
  • INACTIVE – account is inactive
  • PAID – acct is paid off (not necessarily closed)
  • CLOSED – closed account
  • TRANSFERRED – the account was transferred
  • PD WAS 30, 60, 90 or 120+ – the acct is paid off now but was late
  • DELINQ 30, 60, 90 or 120+ – the account is currently late more than xx days
  • COLLECTION – placed for collection
  • PD COLL – Paid collection
  • CHARGE OFF – charged off account
  • BANKRUPTCY – account was included in a bankruptcy
  • PAY PLAN – account is being paid under a payment plan
  • REPOSESS – acct is repossession
  • FORECLOS – Foreclosure
  • SETTLED – settled
  • VOL SUR – voluntary surrender
  • PD WAS REPO – paid was repossession
  • PD CHG OFF – paid charge off
  • PD FORECO- Paid Foreclosure
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