7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include

By Dan Rafter on 22 September 2017 0 comments

Ordering your credit reports every year and studying them carefully is a smart way to get a window into your financial well-being. But while credit reports contain a wealth of information about your history with money, they don't tell you everything about your financial health.

In fact, there is plenty of financial information you won't find in any of your credit reports.

1. Your credit score

Your credit score is a key financial number. It gives lenders a snapshot of how responsible you've been with your finances. If you have thousands of dollars of credit card debt and you routinely pay bills late, your credit score will be low. If you pay your bills on time and you are using a smaller percentage of your available credit, your score will be high.

Unfortunately, your credit report does not contain your credit score. To obtain your score, you'll have to pay one of the three national credit bureaus for it. Your credit card provider might also list a credit score on your monthly statements. This score might not be your official FICO credit score — the one most lenders rely on when deciding whether to lend you money. It can still give you a general idea of where you stand, though, and is worth keeping track of. (See also: FICO or FAKO: Are Free Credit Scores From Credit Cards the Real Thing?)

2. Your payments to utility companies

You pay your gas and electric bills on time every month. You might think that this key indicator of your financial responsibility would be listed on your credit report. Unfortunately, it's not. Utilities don't report payments to the credit bureaus.

This means that your on-time payments to utility providers don't help your credit score. Late payments aren't reported, either. But be careful: If you're far enough behind on your payments that a utility sends your account to collections, that will show up on your credit report. And that black mark will give lenders reason to hesitate when deciding whether you qualify for a loan. An account in collections can also send your credit score plummeting by 100 points or more. (See also: Account in Collections? Here's How to Fix It)

3. Your rent payments

Paying your rent on time probably won't help your credit score, either. That's because most landlords still don't report rent payments to the credit bureaus, meaning that these payments don't show up on your credit report.

There are services today, though, that landlords can use to report rent payments to the bureaus. Most landlords don't use these services yet, but the fact that they are available could be a sign that rent information will become more common on credit reports in the future.

4. Medical bills

The payments you make to doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals don't show up on your credit reports, either. Again, this is because doctors don't report payment information to the credit bureaus.

Paying these bills late, though, could show up on your credit report if your medical providers send your account to a collections agency.

5. Your salary

You'd think the money you earn would be a key indicator of your financial health, and it is. But it's not an indicator of how likely you are to pay your bills on time and manage your credit. Because of this, it doesn't show up on your credit reports.

6. A job loss

Your credit reports do provide some basic employment information, with some listing your past and most recent employers. But if you've just lost your job, that information won't be included in your report. Your reports never mention whether you are still employed, and they don't list how long you've worked with any one company.

7. Your spouse's credit history

Your credit reports list financial information about you and you alone. If you're married, your spouse's history of paying bills and running up debt won't show up.

However, if you and your spouse both have your names on a loan or credit card, that debt will show up on both of your credit reports. So will late payments you made on these accounts, even if paying the bills was your spouse's responsibility and not yours.

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7 Things Your Credit Report Does NOT Include

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