When you review your credit report, you’ll see a list of all of your accounts, including your credit cards and loans. The credit industry refers to these accounts as tradelines. Every account you have will have its tradeline on your credit report, including information about your debt and the lender.
Understanding what tradelines are and how they work can help you read your credit report and understand what credit card companies and lenders see when they do a hard credit check.
What Information is Included in Credit Report Tradelines?
When you look at your credit report, you’ll see that every revolving and installment credit account you have has its tradeline. Every tradeline on your credit report will include a range of information about your debt, the account history, and the lender.
The information in a tradeline usually includes:
- Type of Account
- Account Ownership (Individual, Joint, Authorized User, or Cosigner)
- Credit or Lender’s Name and Address
- Partial Account Number
- Account Open Date
- Date of Last Activity
- Credit Limit or Loan Amount
- Your Current Balance
- Last Payment Amount
- Date of Most Recent Account Update
- Account Status
- Your Payment History
- Delinquencies from the Past Seven Years
Tradelines allow you and your creditors to view all of the most important information about your accounts in a single, organized place.
How Do Tradelines Affect My Credit Score?
The information contained in your tradelines is what is used to calculate your credit scores. Factors like your payment history, the total number of open tradelines, and your total balance amount are directly reflected in your credit score. However, since credit scores are only an overview of your credit history, many lenders will check the tradelines on your credit report to get a better understanding of your creditworthiness.
To have a credit score generated, your credit report needs to have at least one open tradeline that has been active within the past six months. It’s important to note that your tradelines might have slight differences across the three credit reports. This is because lenders and creditors may differ in how they report your accounts to the different bureaus.
Can I Remove Tradelines?
Generally speaking, you can’t simply remove a tradeline from your credit report. As long as the information is correct, complete, and within the credit reporting time limit, tradelines can be included on your credit report. This means that any account that belongs to you, regardless of its status, can appear.
All open tradelines will appear on your credit report. If you close a tradeline and it has positive information, it will stay on your credit report based on each credit bureau’s reporting guidelines. If you close a tradeline with negative information, it will remain on your credit report for seven to ten years.
However, you can be removed from a tradeline if you are an authorized user on someone’s credit card account and the primary account holder decides to remove you from the account. When this occurs, the tradeline won’t appear on your credit report.
You may also request to have a tradeline removed if you don’t recognize the account. This could indicate identity theft and you should take immediate action. Contact the credit bureaus immediately to place a freeze on your credit report, open a fraud alert, and dispute the unknown accounts.
How is the Information About My Tradelines Collected?
Lenders and creditors provide information about your tradelines directly to the credit bureaus. You can expect each lender to update your tradeline information with the credit bureaus about once a month.
You can keep an eye on your tradelines by keeping up to date with your credit report. ScoreSense is an easy way to see the information provided by all three credit bureaus. You should check this information thoroughly and frequently to catch errors and fraud. If you do come across an error, write to the credit bureaus to dispute the information using a letter template from the Federal Trade Commission.
The Bottom Line
Knowing how to read the tradelines on your credit report can help you understand exactly what your credit report means, and gain insight into what lenders are seeing when you apply for a new line of credit.