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What is credit history? | General FAQ

Credit history is a list of your debts and how responsible you've been in repaying these debts. Your credit history is documented on a credit report produced by a credit bureau (such as Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax).

What is considered debt?

Debt is money that is owed or due to a business. Commons forms of debt are:

  • Credit cards
  • Auto loans
  • Student loans
  • Personal loans
  • Mortgages

How do I know if I have credit history and how long I've had it?

Reviewing your credit report is a great way to see your length of credit history. If you have had any of the debts listed above, you can estimate how long you've had credit history for.

Here are some examples of how to credit history can be calculated:

  • Ellie E. got her first credit card in August 2015. She fills out a loan application in August 2018 that asks for the length of her credit history. Ellie would list 3 years of credit history.
  • Ernie E. got his first auto loan in September 2017. Then Ernie got a credit card in January 2018. He fills out a loan application in December 2018. Ernie would use the first time he took out debt (9/17) to calculate his credit history, even though he has multiple debts. Ernie would list 1 year, 3 months worth of credit history.

How do I get my credit report?

To see your own credit report, including how long your credit history has been established, you may contact the credit bureaus directly to request a copy. You're also entitled to receive one free credit report per year from each of the 3 major credit bureaus. You can find out more about that process at AnnualCreditReport.com.

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