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How To Read A Credit Report

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Once you get your credit report, you must be able to read it to identify red flags and fix the situation at hand. 

Sections of a Credit Report 

Here’s what different sections on your credit report show:

Personal Information

The section contains information for your identification, including:

  • Date of birth 
  • Name 
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Social security number 

Make sure everything in this section is accurate. Double-check the social security number while you’re at it. 

Credit History 

You’ll find most of the information in this section. It tells you: 

  • Total loan amounts
  • Shared accounts
  • Late payments 
  • Credit accounts, like mortgages and credit cards 
  • Remaining loan balance 
Public Records 

The information in this section is from the public records and includes judgments, tax liens, and bankruptcy. For most people, this part should be blank. 


In this section, you’ll find a list of all the businesses that have ever asked for your credit report. Inquiries are of two types: 

  • Soft: A company needs your credit report to send you promotional offers 
  • Hard: These inquiries take place when you apply for a loan, mortgage, or credit card 

Where’s The Credit Score?

If you’re looking at a free credit report, the credit score may not be on it. You’ll have to use a service like or another free web software. 

If you are having trouble understanding the various elements of your credit report and how to improve it, consider reaching out to our credit repair Milwaukee, WI experts, who will be happy to provide you with a free consultation!