What Is Your Credit History?

What Is Your Credit History?

Your credit history is a record of your credit accounts. The three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) each store detailed records of your accounts and payment history. This information becomes especially important when you apply for new credit cards, loans and mortgages.

How do credit bureaus use your credit history?

Credit histories are useful because they show lenders how reliable you are with financial responsibilities. Credit bureaus may use your credit history to calculate your credit score, which is a snapshot numerical estimation of how likely you are to pay off debt in the future. Lenders typically use your credit score and credit history to try to assess your creditworthiness, so they can decide whether to approve you for credit or how to set their lending rates.

Establishing a healthy credit history can help in many situations. A higher credit score can result in lower mortgage rates, a lower APR for your credit cards, lower insurance premiums and better rewards on credit cards.

What kind of information is in your credit history?

1. Credit accounts. Your credit cards, loans and mortgages can all be on your credit history. You can also find additional details like the date the account was issued, the amounts owed, the credit limit for credit cards and payment history.

2. Inquiries. Any time you apply for a new line of credit, the lender will usually check your credit history, initiating a "hard inquiry" on your report. Hard inquiries could deduct a few points from your credit score and negatively impact your credit history for up to two years before being removed, though the impact generally decreases over time.

3. Derogatory marks. If you become severely delinquent in your payments and your account is sent to a collections agency, the account in collections will often be noted on your credit history, which can significantly lower your score. In fact, derogatory marks typically stay on your credit history for seven to ten years.

4. On-time payment history. If you are 30, 60 or 90 days late on a payment, it will usually be noted on your credit history and could negatively affect your score. The later the payments are and the more late payments that show up on your credit history, the more negatively they can impact your score.

What kind of information is not in your credit history?

1. Bank accounts, such as checking and savings accounts, do not typically involve credit, so in most cases, they do not have an effect on your credit history.

2. Your income, age and race will not appear on your credit history. Date of birth may appear as part of your identifying information, but it is not used in credit scoring.

What should you do if your credit history is incorrect?

An up-to-date and accurate credit history is very important in ensuring you have the best credit score possible. If you're concerned that your credit history is inaccurate, read this detailed guide on how to dispute an error on your credit report. Please keep in mind that the scores and credit information you see on Credit Karma come directly from TransUnion and Equifax, respectively. If your credit information that you see on Credit Karma is incorrect, please contact those credit bureaus directly.

A change in your credit score indicates a change in your credit history. Monitor your full TransUnion and Equifax credit reports on Credit Karma so you'll understand your report details, and if you need to take any actions to correct your credit history.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this site is not provided by the bank or issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank or issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank or issuer. Credit Karma may be compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs or otherwise. It is this compensation that enables Credit Karma to provide its members with services like free access to your credit scores and free monitoring of credit and financial accounts at no charge.

 

Disclaimer: All information posted to this site was accurate at the time of its initial publication. Efforts have been made to keep the content up to date and accurate. However, Credit Karma does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. For complete details of any products mentioned, visit bank or issuer website.

All Comments

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1 Contribution
1851 People Helped

Helpful to 1851 out of 1974 people

The basic problem with this report is it's from TransUnion.  I have a C with them and EXCELLENT with the other 2.  Before you apply for credit, ask if TransUnion is going to be involved in their determination of risk versus the other 2.  If the say it will weigh heavily, walk out the door and go somewhere else. TransUnion should be shut down, they are not good for the welfare of the citizens of our country. 

Reply by
3566luci

1 Contribution
1368 People Helped
Helpful to 1170 out of 1266 people

transunion should not be the main report should be based on all three credit report compnies.

Reply by
queendottie

1 Contribution
215 People Helped
Helpful to 215 out of 287 people

Thanks for the information

Reply by
Fayblac

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 2 people

Thank you because I have a C and a good rating.

Reply by
ultimatecpa

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

Very, very true!  TransUnion has a highly subjective way of evaluating credit scoring to the point that it skews your history to the account holders detriment.  They should not be relied on by any intelligent company to use for their credit analysis on individuals.

Reply by
surferbunny

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

This is very true. I got help to get my credit back up and a copy was sent to them about closed out accounts. They showed them in collection, way past due and balances were still on them. I even wrote to the companies and they sent me letters showing zero balance also I could return to them for a loan. I had to get a place to stay (Rent to Own ) so I could get all this straighten out and it is almost 2 years and they still haven't fixed it. 

Reply by
heavenshandsme

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

I total agree Trans Union has messed up a lot of peoples lives. In the past they were the ones that stopped me from getting a home years ago. Plus I know a lot of people personaly that the same trans union messed things for all of them. The other two where great so what the frik is going on and who made them Credit Gods. At least that's what they think. Plus its a night mare trying to fix anything with them.

Reply by
KATZKARMAZ

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP!!!!!!!!!!!  SCORES ARE SOOOO IMPORTANT SO YES, IF THIS IS THE CASE, HECK W THEM!  THX A LOT!!!!!!!  VERY HELPFUL~!

Reply by
bapolen

5 Contributions
168 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 2 people

all three cbt s  and u  credit  karma  are  90 days     wrong   i hae paid off  all  credit cards and   auto   they are  zero and have ask u to update  all files  / all scores  and   report  correct data  now   5  times  so  would u please  fix   now and remove the  balances      and report them as zero and update my score  to a better  score i am  trying to buy  a  home and u are hurting my chanses.. send me update  and call  my   ph when  complete  s o i may see  u did  ur  job and fixed this issue

cc attorney

cc  file

cc cbt

cc annual cr report

cc credit  karma

cc tu

cc equifax

ccc experian

Reply by
raven1001

1 Contribution
36 People Helped
Helpful to 36 out of 43 people

Wow , so true! I don't understand how my rating can go from an A to A an F in 2 weeks when I haven't changed anything.  My payments are 100% on time and  all of my hard pulls are more than 14 months old. It aslo says my credit history is 2 years or so - another site has me at 19 years! Which is more like it.  SO my rating dropped 15 pts and it doesn't even say why?  None of the in depth reports have changed!  Ridiculous.  How do you plan for any kind of loan or CC request if they are all different?

Reply by
bdds042004

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 0 out of 1 people

You are so right they should be shup down ASAP. The are the only one that have me in the 750' and both the others have me 820's plus. All of my cards are paid off I never charge over 200 to 300 a month ad the pay them off before the month ends. With them its if you have bills you get a better score if you have no bill you score drops with them. They SUCK A** bad.

Reply by
TheMarz

1 Contribution
9 People Helped
Helpful to 9 out of 12 people

I notice that too with them. I have a much lower score with TransUnion as compared to the others.

1 Contribution
4 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 5 people

I used Transunion to monitor my credit for a few months and my credit score was pretty good.  When I cancelled it my score suddenly got worse! Imagine that?

Experian use to scare me when I heard a credit company was using them, they didn't seem to like me much, now I am using them since an identity theft incident.  Now they love me!  My credit report with them has miraculeously increased!

Reply by
Frankfurterin

4 Contributions
23 People Helped

Wow, yea I completely understand that. The Credit Bureaus are also run by the Government, basically, so we can be monitored financially too, of course. Pulling up a credit score - so a bank professional told me - shows basically just calculations and a possible precalculated expected financial behavior. We are so very bad. Well, after divorce and other downhill experiences over the past two years and me not getting younger I realized that I will probably never recover from the financial ordeals I have encountered. I tried to fix things in my credit report that were not right and for which I sent proof and added comments I am entitled to add but TransUnion didn't bother posting these comments but Equifax did! But the bank I went to only uses TransUnion. I don't care anymore now. Day by day living.

1 Contribution
637 People Helped

Helpful to 637 out of 677 people

I have found that Credit Karma is NOT the most accurate tool simply for the fact they only go with 1 of the 3 credit companies. But, it CAN be used as a very good guideline to monitor your credit. I was having the same problems as most of you (inaccuracies regarding history, etc...) I done some research and found that that is at NO FAULT to credit karma. If the creditor(s) did not report to transunion (which, often times they do NOT report to all three) then, it will not be on credit Karma's profile for you. Credit karma is a very good service for what it gives (better than any other I've seen for free) but, agreed, there are some things that can be fixed and pulling from all three major credit bureaus is on the top of that list. 

Reply by
bapolen

5 Contributions
168 People Helped
Helpful to 130 out of 248 people

all three cbt s  and u  credit  karma  are  90 days     wrong   i hae paid off  all  credit cards and   auto   they are  zero and have ask u to update  all files  / all scores  and   report  correct data  now   5  times  so  would u please  fix   now and remove the  balances      and report them as zero and update my score  to a better  score i am  trying to buy  a  home and u are hurting my chanses.. send me update  and call  my   ph when  complete  s o i may see  u did  ur  job and fixed this issue

cc attorney

cc  file

cc cbt

cc annual cr report

cc credit  karma

cc tu

cc equifax

ccc experian

Reply by
computertech0

4 Contributions
34 People Helped
Helpful to 11 out of 18 people

credit sesame gives you a higher score than credit karma

1 Contribution
513 People Helped

Helpful to 513 out of 559 people

I see a difference in my credit scores also between TransUnion and Equfiax.  I would agree with others that TransUnion is not the best company to be tracking credit history or scores.  What is Credit Karma doing about getting scores from other credit company's?

Reply by
ytl0686

1 Contribution
207 People Helped
Helpful to 207 out of 248 people

I have noticed that transition is, out if the three, the ones that rate me the highest......but I have had credit cards for 10 plus years and transunion only has my credit card history at 2&1/2 years......puzzling!

Reply by
bapolen

5 Contributions
168 People Helped
Helpful to 34 out of 105 people

all three cbt s  and u  credit  karma  are  90 days     wrong   i hae paid off  all  credit cards and   auto   they are  zero and have ask u to update  all files  / all scores  and   report  correct data  now   5  times  so  would u please  fix   now and remove the  balances      and report them as zero and update my score  to a better  score i am  trying to buy  a  home and u are hurting my chanses.. send me update  and call  my   ph when  complete  s o i may see  u did  ur  job and fixed this issue

cc attorney

cc  file

cc cbt

cc annual cr report

cc credit  karma

cc tu

cc equifax

ccc experian

Reply by
gwenlynnM

2 Contributions
0 People Helped

AGREED!!

1 Contribution
97 People Helped

Helpful to 97 out of 117 people

Bought a car less than 2 years ago and my credit score was just below 800.  Today, checking Credit Karma it gives me a score of 658.  Credit scores seem to me to simply be a way for companies to extort funds from those who are already in need of a break.  Companies can simply say you owe them and place something on your report even when they are acting outside of the confines of state law..... ....lol....what a joke.........

Reply by
Kiwi1969

1 Contribution
34 People Helped
Helpful to 34 out of 47 people

There is a different version of the credit algorithm for auto loans, which the auto dealers choose to use. The max is 900 instead of 850 and generally you will get a higher score 

Similarly there are variants used for specific industries that 'adjust' your score for that industry's benefit

Reply by
Frankfurterin

4 Contributions
23 People Helped
Helpful to 17 out of 26 people

I agree with that one, only CreditKarma has reported my account correctly according to TransUnion where I apparently have a bad rep in regards to credit cards (OMG I don't have any, what's wrong with me?). I am now in the process of making a few consumer statements on my credit report - no whining, just facts. I appreciate CreditKarma and that it is free just to get my "baseline". Remember that the Credit Bureaus are monitored and regulated by the Government, how nice. I know I will not recover fro a low score as I do not apply for credit cards, especially in this economy. Nevertheless, it is a game with winners and loosers and that is the way it is. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. It is frustrating.

Reply by
carmadie

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

I totally agree it's a BIG JOKE!!!!!!

2 Contributions
369 People Helped

Helpful to 367 out of 419 people

My credit reports from the major reporting agencies is 22 years or more. Why is yours only 6 years?  I am 46, I am pretty sure I have more than six years of credit on file. Why would all the years of excellent credit be ignored? 

Reply by
abhorner

1 Contribution
204 People Helped
Helpful to 204 out of 236 people

They are not ignored...look under Payment History.  It shows the total number of accts you have had and will give a grade for paying all those accts.

Reply by
11samadu

1 Contribution
4 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 6 people

Where is the Payment History tab?  I have looked all over and can't locate it.

Reply by
barbermania

1 Contribution
369 People Helped
Helpful to 369 out of 412 people

Unfortunately, if you cancel a credit card or pay off a mortgage, that ends the credit history with that creditor; thus it wipes it out.  The only true way to keep a long credit history is to keep the same credit card company for a long period of time.  Credit scoring is a game...you have to play by its rules...even if the rules are stupid.  I guess that makes it like golf in some ways....

Reply by
mmarylou

1 Contribution
3 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

I had exactly the same question!!! I am 56 years old and they say I have 6 1/2 years!

Reply by
AirCAvNam

1 Contribution
3 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 4 people

I agree with you 100%  CreditKarma says I have an excellent  credit history, but it  only goes back 5 years and 6months?  I have carefully nurtured my credit use, payment record and the like for 54 years.  Why in hell are the previous 48 years of good credit ignored?  And I get a C for having a "short" credit history??  HUH?  

Reply by
Cathexis

1 Contribution
9 People Helped
Helpful to 9 out of 11 people

It's an average age.  If you opened a new line of credit yesterday and you only had 1 other line of credit that's been open for 20 years, that now becomes 10.  Open another one today and it becomes 6.66 years, and so on.  Caught me off gaurd when i saw 2.5 years as well.  Hope this helps some one. 

Reply by
emulove

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

CreditKarma - where IS the Payment History tab that has been mentioned?  It would be helpful to know if it's actually there or not!  Thank you.

Reply by
vavaioustee

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

i agree with cricket why is it only showing 6 years of credit and i am interested in seeing my other scores... but for the free service of credit karma i can't complain... it did help me though... it they could do a one time free for all bureau's and then asked you to sign up with them i would... but now i have to try a get the other scores and i am sure it will cost me...

Reply by
Herrenpilz

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I'm confused too and have ask myself that same question many times?

I pulled my yearly free credit report and found that all information on the credit reports were correct. on credit carma I found a wrongly spelled former address street name, age of credit history and debit to credit ratio. I have contacted credit carma about 2 weeks ago and ask them to please correct the mistakes on my credit carma credit report......must have send that note into a black hole......nothing has been corrected so far.....hmmmm!

I have to monitor my credit, because of a person (former friend) using my excellent credit some wile back while I was out of the country and credit carma  is a great tool to monitor. I have been building my credit from zero since 2011 and the credit history on credit carma is showing a wrong credit history? I'm confused, because on all three credit reports older former addresses are reported, but do not count towards my credit history? I have done everything one is supposed to do like writing letters with all copies of receips, send them by registered mail to all three credit bureaus, only to find out later while watching a report on 60 Minutes that it was all for nothing? really! What a waist of my time!  It is very frustrating if your credit history only counts when you have 20-30 credit cards, but one should watch the credit to debit ratio.... right!!!  

1 Contribution
72 People Helped

Helpful to 72 out of 87 people

I found Credit Karma much superior to Equifax who has errors in my profile including my date of birth and refuses to send me my report for free, which really irritates me a lot, and there is no apparent way to correspond with them directly.  Thank you for your service and for giving me my score without any problem.  Thanks very much.  Robert,  Huntsville AL   

1 Contribution
63 People Helped

Helpful to 63 out of 79 people

I have found that I have received a most accurate Credit Report from Credit Karma than any other credit reporting company. I have recommended that others and friends should follow Credit Karma and help themselves fix and monitor their own credit report. Great job Credit Karma....

Reply by
HelplessElder

2 Contributions
16 People Helped
Helpful to 16 out of 26 people

 Credit Karma is no more accurate than the credit beaureaus they get their info from. 

1 Contribution
180 People Helped

Helpful to 180 out of 220 people

I really don't understand this rating. My credit history is reported as 0 years. Say what? It's true that I have no open accounts - that is by design. I have a mortgage, which is always up to date, and I paid off my car loan (60 months allowed) in 47 months; never missed a payment, and was never late. Everything else (I'm 62 - there have been many "everything else" accounts - is paid off, which has allowed me to retire in good shape. And I intend to stay that way. I'm looking for one loan, one only, and it will be paid on time, or sooner. I admit it - I just do not understand the system.

Reply by
krimlor

1 Contribution
290 People Helped
Helpful to 290 out of 317 people

It was a big mistake to close your major credit card accounts even if you do not use them (unless you habitually run your credit to maxed when you have open accounts).  This has a large impact on your credit score.  It effects the average acount age, available credit vs. credit limit (for revolving accounts) and reduces the variety of the type of accounts you have.  All these are negetive factors and will reduce your credit score.  My advice to anyone else reading this is to not close your accounts unless absolutely necessary.  Keep them active (charge something on them every month or two and pay it in full when the bill comes due.  One way to raise your credit score a litlle bit is to even ask your current credit providers to increase your credit limit even if you are not going to use it.  This decreases the percentage of your available credit to credit limit thereby increasing your credit score.

Reply by
Spyhoppin

1 Contribution
104 People Helped
Helpful to 104 out of 117 people

Chase just sent me a letter stating that the are closing an account that I have because I never use the card. Well, duh....I never use it cause I hate debt....but I like to keep it open for the fact of having "credit" Now its closed for inactivity....you dammed if you do your dammed if you dont.

Best thing to do is every once and a while buy lunch on your credit card and pay it off.

Like they said....ITS A GAME!

Reply by
Frankfurterin

4 Contributions
23 People Helped
Helpful to 5 out of 7 people

I so understand your commetn! You need to be constantly in debt - the American way - or you are nothing. Remember this is a financial game reflecting who you are financially and no credit is not liked...apparently. I am in the same boat.

1 Contribution
19 People Helped

Helpful to 19 out of 30 people

very helpful tx

1 Contribution
50 People Helped

Helpful to 50 out of 70 people

I am 60 years old and have a credit card that I have paid on time since 1994.  Why does your records reflect 7.5 years with no open accounts?

1 Contribution
4 People Helped

Helpful to 4 out of 4 people

Why don't they use all three? Because they're sponsored by trans union. Possibly the worst one of the three!!! Don't trust any of them...or the goverment lol!!

1 Contribution
3 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

Credit karma needs to use equifax or some other credit bureau because at the other credit bureau's I have 650+ credit score. Here I have 586. This does not help me. Only thing is helps is that is shows what I have in default   How ever. If I have a few loans in default. How do I have zero years of credit history.  Having a loan in default (which I'm in the works of getting outta default ) should tell you I obviously had some sort of credit history.   Transunion is horrible. Will creditkarma use all three credit bureaus. Or what's. Fix this problem ASAP.!!!

1 Contribution
6 People Helped

Helpful to 6 out of 8 people

I find creditkarma to be very accurate and fair.

1 Contribution
12 People Helped

Helpful to 12 out of 16 people

I don't understand after all these years of paying off loans or paying them off ahead of time ,  never late with payments to banks, credit card Co.'s,   paying off mortgages and my credit is still not over 700 .   #@%&$* !!!

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

I filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy one year ago, and have not been able to get any kind of credit, even a secured credit card since then.

My credit score is a 684 with T.U. and a 690 with experian, but I still can't get credit.

So, I owe not one penny to anyone.

If I don't have the money to buy something, that's the end of the story.   Can't buy it.  I'm probably way better off that way.

I've gotten several calls from law firms to "repair my credit", and get the bankruptcy off.   It sounds good, but I'm sure it can still be found out.

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Great article.  I'm still reading and looking into what else Credit Karma may offer.  

2 Contributions
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Why you not show credit history from store credit cards. I have 4 of them with good credit. Stoneberry 4 years since 2011. Montgomery Ward, Seventh Avenue and Monroe and Main. Had card with from 2 years.

1 Contribution
2 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 3 people

Apparently some people leaving comments are not aware of how the credit bureaus work while others are really aware of them. CreditKarma is a great tool. It is NOT a part of Trans Union so take your complaints to them. Knowledge provided about your score and beyond by Credit/Karma is powerful. Keep up the good work! 

@creditscore_man

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Why do all my old closed accounts still show up?  I feel this is keeping my score under 800.

Brian Garfield

blackfootj33@gmail.com

Credit Karma Team
Top Contributor

Reply by
CKCharmaine

512 Contributions
668 People Helped
Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

Closed accounts remain on your report for seven to ten years. You can read more about this here: https://www.creditkarma.com/article/closing-accounts-credit-effects

1 Contribution
8 People Helped

Helpful to 8 out of 11 people

i agree with you winner007 my transunion report is 50 points! less than the other 2 credit companies....and i may have caught a mistake with a deferred student loan marked as late payment.

1 Contribution
9 People Helped

Helpful to 9 out of 12 people

my credit report only goes back three years? I should have about 32 years. This only shows my bad times.

1 Contribution
2 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 3 people

I recently got an auto loan a couple months ago and my overall credit was much higher than on credit karma. I don't think that the trans union is a great source to check your credit!

1 Contribution
2 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 3 people

Insurance companies, pharma's, doctors, all contribute to these frauds! Better think about what you disclose to all these potential frauds!

1 Contribution
9 People Helped

Helpful to 9 out of 13 people

You have listed chase home loan balance of $20,000 this is erroneous . I have a home equity line of $82,000 which was used a few years ageo for a short  time. It was fully repaid. Chase Bank is incompetant and I have a constant battle of getting monthly fees eliminated. The bank gives me a credit for $21 and a few months later it reappears. I intend to move my account to another bank as soon as I move two automatic payments to another bank. I will most likely do this Jan 2013. 

I use one credit card American Express which is paid at the end of every month. 

I do not know of any property  tax lien on any of my properties.

I file my taxes every year and do not have anybalance due.

Please check for  proper info

John Ambrosio

All of our credit report information comes straight from your TransUnion credit report. Check your full credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com for more information.

Review by
CK Moderator

1 Contribution
4 People Helped

Helpful to 4 out of 5 people

If I had closed accounts from 1994 on my credit, why when I disputed them to be removed - which they did remove them -why did my credit score drop drastically?? and could I dispute to have them put back on?? to raise my credit history b/c I was unaware by removing them it would cause my score to drop. HELP ME?? SO CONFUSED!!

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