With all the complex terms and abbreviations, a credit report can read like it’s written in a foreign language. Well, here’s your translation guide. When you understand credit report abbreviations and credit report terminology, you’ll have the power to read your credit report with confidence. You’ll be able to understand why your score is high or low and how to improve your credit score.
What do the letters mean on a credit report? You aren’t the only person wondering about this—credit reports can be tricky to read. This short and sweet glossary of credit report abbreviations is your primer to understanding your credit score.
Basic Elements of a Credit Report
To understand credit report codes and definitions, start by navigating the different elements of the report. On your credit report, you’ll see the following sections.
1. Personal Information
At the top, you’ll find the information you provided to look up your credit report file, along with identifying information, such as your:
- Name (may include previous names and variations)
- Current address (sometimes previous addresses are listed as well)
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Phone number
- Employer information and history (this may or may not be listed—it is primarily to help identify you)
2. Disputes and Consumer Statements
This section may include any statements you’ve submitted to a credit bureau, such as disputed information on your report.
3. Account Summary and History
This section lists and summarizes information about the different kinds of credit accounts you have, including the balance of each, plus the number of current and delinquent accounts. On your credit report, you might find a summary of your accounts, followed by another section with a more detailed credit history. The information included in these sections is presented in credit report status codes and credit report abbreviations, so they can take some effort to learn how to read—we’ll get to what those mean soon.
Depending on which credit bureau you get your credit report from, your account history may be under the section called “Trades.”
The type of accounts you’ll find listed include:
- Real estate accounts, such as mortgages
- Revolving accounts, such as credit cards and lines of credit
- Installment accounts, which generally means loans with a set payoff date that are not connected to real estate, including student loans and car loans
- Other accounts, generally any loans that don’t fit into the above categories
- Collection accounts, any accounts in any category that have fallen behind and have been sent to collections
Collection accounts may appear listed as part of your account history, or in a separate section, again depending on the credit bureau. It will include account history information and will be marked as delinquent.
The information you’ll find listed about each of these accounts includes:
- Dates they were opened or closed
- Payment history
- Credit utilization
- Payment status
- Account balance
The accounts section will reflect which bills are paid on time; late payments can stay on credit reports for up to seven years.
4. Public Records
Items in this section may include a declaration of bankruptcy, foreclosures, tax liens, and civil judgments against you. Any of these can hurt your overall credit score.
5. Credit Inquiries
This section lists the instances when you or a financial institution have requested a copy of your credit report. This report contains both “hard inquiries,” which are made when a lender checks your credit as part of a loan application process, and “soft inquiries,” which are made by lenders for promotional purposes or by you checking your score.
If you notice that any of this information is incorrect in your credit report, you can file a dispute or update the record. Look for accounts assigned to you that were opened by someone with a similar name, for unauthorized hard inquiries, or for inaccuracies in identifying information.
Consumer Credit Reports vs. Reports for Lenders
A final note before we head into the glossary: Consumer credit reports, or the ones that the credit bureau sends directly to you, may look different than the credit report it sends to lenders. Your credit report might not include as many abbreviations, and the lender reports will only include hard inquiries on your credit. Otherwise, lenders have full access to your credit history and will use it to determine the terms of your loan.
Glossary of Credit Report Terms
Each section included in your credit report is important, should be checked for accuracy, and can impact your credit score. Arguably the most impactful section is the account history, or “Trades” section, and the collection accounts summary. This glossary will deal primarily with credit report codes and definitions used in those sections.
While each credit bureau may organize and title reports differently, they will all contain the basic elements listed above and use the credit report abbreviations in this glossary.
Abbreviations in Account History/Trades Key
At the top of your account history (or “Trades”), you’ll find a key that will help you identify the numbers, names, and codes listed for each entry. These are the abbreviations you might see:
- ECOA: An abbreviation for “Equal Credit Opportunity Act.” Designates ownership on the account, such as a shared account, cosigned account, etc.
- CREDLIM: An abbreviation for “credit limit.” Maximum credit approved by the lender.
- HIGHCRED: An abbreviation for “highest credit.” Highest amount ever owed by the consumer on that account.
- MAXDELQ: An abbreviation for “maximum delinquency.” This section will mark the date an account is marked delinquent. If the account is not delinquent, this section will be blank for that account.
- SUBNAME: The abbreviated name of the lender or credit grantor.
- SUBCODE: The credit grantor’s kind of business, or business type, code.
Abbreviations in Account Listings
You’ll see abbreviations and codes throughout your credit report. What are the codes on a credit report? Keep an eye out for these common codes and abbreviations.
Type of Account
The type of account listed in your account history will be designated with these codes:
- O: Open account (30, 60, or 90 days)
- R: Revolving or option
- I: Installment
- M: Mortgage
- C: Line of credit
Account Actions or Date Indicators
Any actions that have taken place regarding your account, along with the date it happened, will be marked with these codes:
- A: Automated withdrawal
- C: Closed
- D: Account has been applied for but denied
- F: Repossessed, written off, or sent to collections
- M: Manually frozen
- P: Paid off
- R: Reported
- V: Verified
- X: Lack of reply to lenders’ attempts to contact you
Account Holder Status
Not all accounts are accessed by only one person; sometimes there’s a cosigner or joint account. These credit report status codes are used to indicate account ownership—you may find them referred to under ECOA:
- A: Authorized user of a shared account
- C: Joint liability for account
- I: Individual account, used only by a single customer
- M: Account with a cosigner who has liability if the owner defaults
- P: Participant in a shared account that doesn’t fall under C or A
- S: The customer is a cosigner for this account and will be liable if the owner defaults
- T: Any relationship with this account has been terminated
- U: Undesignated
- X: Account owner is deceased
Decode Your Finances With Power Finance Texas
Credit report abbreviations may seem mysterious and complicated, but this glossary should give you the knowledge you need to understand the most important parts of your credit report. Remember to stay on top of your credit; know what your score is and work to improve it, or work to build it up if you have no credit.
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