Your credit report may seem to say a lot about the life you live, but there’s actually quite a bit that lenders can’t find out from you just by checking your credit score. If you feel like your privacy is being invaded, it’s important to keep in mind the things that aren’t left out in the open due to a credit inquiry. The following is a list of the things your credit report won’t reveal about you.
Salary used to be one of the things that lenders could look at when checking your credit score. Today, it’s all kept under wraps. In fact, salaries haven’t been included on credit reports for nearly 20 years. The credit bureaus realized it was too difficult to get an accurate number due to raises, bonuses, commissions and layoffs. Plus, a high salary doesn’t guarantee that you’ll pay your debts. Therefore, today’s credit reports don’t include credit scores. On the plus side, you don’t have to have a huge income in order to qualify for certain loans. On the other hand, poor history when it comes to making debt payment will hurt you, even if you have a significant income.
Just as lenders can’t find out how much you make, they also can’t find out whether you even have a job at the moment. This can be a huge help if you’re trying to get a loan while you’re struggling in between jobs. What your credit report will list, however, is your employment information – but only if it’s available to them. If you’ve listed your past employers on previous credit applications, that information is stored and updated on future reports. However, it doesn’t list your title or the dates of employment for those jobs.
If you have a criminal record, that’s not something you have to worry about when working with a lender. The credit report they pull won’t show any criminal history, even for things as small as traffic tickets. However, lenders could find out about certain violations if you fail to pay the tickets or fines you were assigned, especially if collections come after you for the amount you owe. Make sure you pay off all debts (even parking tickets) on time to avoid this issue.
Since including medical debt could violate your right to medical privacy, credit bureaus don’t report your medical debts. That’s one less thing to worry about if you’ve racked up medical bills, but just be sure you keep paying those bills off on time. The one way that these debts can show up on your credit report is if they go unpaid for a certain period of time. At that point, a collection agency will follow up and the results appear on your credit report. Even if this happens, however, the report will never reveal any private medical details.
(Also read: Tips On How To Pay Off Your Medical Bills.)
Spouse’s Credit History
When you get married, many financial issues become merged (for example, choosing to file taxes jointly). However, credit reports are one thing that remains individual even if you’re married. This can be a huge benefit to couples who have one partner with a poor credit history. The partner with better credit history can apply for things like an auto loan without having to worry about a spouse’s credit report hurting their chances. Keep in mind that joint accounts will still be listed on the report, but only the name of the person who is applying for a loan or for credit will appear on the report. In addition, find out if you live in a community property state. If you do, then you could be held responsible if your spouse defaults on his or her individual debts and this information could appear on your credit report.
Any assets that you own simply don’t appear on a credit report, whether it’s money in the bank, the value of your home or stock options. In short, your net worth is not a factor that lenders will be considering. While some people think their net worth could make them more attractive to lenders, this can also be a relief for many people since it protects their privacy.
The types of loans you’re typically told to avoid. Payday loans, title loans, pawn shop loans and similar loans don’t show up on a credit report. That’s good news for people who’ve turned to these risky loan options when they’re struggling financially. However, make sure you don’t default on those loans since the lender could get a collection agency to follow up and the results will appear on your credit report.
Your credit report is something that you should never ignore. In fact, taking steps to maintain or boost your score are an important part of being financially responsible. However, it’s a relief to know that you don’t have to worry as much about your privacy when it comes time for lenders to look in on your credit.