What Are Tradelines and How to Find Them On Your Credit Report?_WC

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What Are Tradelines and How to Find Them On Your Credit Report?_WC

4 min 23 Mar 2023
Highlights:
  • What Information Can be Derived from a Tradeline?
  • Types of Credit Tradelines
  • Why is it Important to Check a Tradeline?
  • How to See the Tradelines on Credit Report?

A tradeline is simply an industry term for a credit account that the lender reports on your credit report. All credit reports contain a separate ‘tradeline’ for each credit account which depicts the nature of the user’s account, credit payment history, the date on which the credit was sanctioned, etc. Tradelines also come into play when discussing your credit mix. All the information presented in the tradelines is used to determine the user’s credit score and it is also directly affected by the number of tradelines on your credit report. 

What Information Can be Derived from a Tradeline?

Tradelines can be positive or negative. Positive tradelines are those with a track record of on-time payments and low balances. Negative tradelines are those with late payments, defaults, or bankruptcies. A tradeline’s components vary depending on the credit reporting agency that generates the report, but in general, a tradeline contains the following information: 

  • Name, address and occupation of the credit borrower 
  • The date on which the account was opened 
  • Partial account number of the borrower 
  • The type of credit account such as credit card, instalment loan, mortgage, or revolving account 
  • Account status whether open, closed, charged off, or in collections 
  • Date of the most recent credit activity 
  • Date of last payment 
  • The date that the creditor last reported information about the account to the credit bureau 
  • Loan or credit amount 
  • The current balance owed on the account. 
  • The highest balance ever owed on the account 
  • A record of your payment history, including whether you have made payments on time, been late on payments or missed payments 
  • The maximum amount of credit available on the account, the sanctioned amount and amount overdue 
  • Whether the user owns the account, minimum monthly payment, rate of interest, payment frequency, etc 

Lenders use tradelines to assess your creditworthiness and ability to manage credit because they provide a detailed picture of your credit history. Each credit bureau like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion uses the credit report differently; hence there might be some variation in the credit report.  

Types of Credit Tradelines

Tradelines of various types can be found on your credit reports. They are broadly classified into 3 different variants: 

Revolving accounts

A revolving tradeline consists of any type of revolving account. The user’s available credit, payments, and balance change as he or she makes payments or purchases. Example: credit cards or lines of credit. Revolving accounts allow open-ended charging abilities. You have a total spending capacity that you can charge up or pay down. You can purchase more than one thing over time and your spending limit can increase or decrease over time. Credit utilisation is one of the distinguishing features of revolving accounts. It is determined by comparing your current balance to your credit limit. This calculation affects the amounts owed and a portion of your credit score. 

Instalment loans

These are the accounts where the borrower borrows a fixed amount and is required to repay it on fixed terms. These are typically fixed payment plans. Car loans or appliance loans are two examples of these accounts. Instalment credit lines are also an important component of your credit mix. To get the best score, use a combination of revolving and instalment tradelines. 

Also Read: What Is Credit Mix and How Can It Improve Your Credit Score?

Other

The majority of credit tradelines fall under the instalment or tradeline category, but few other tradelines can appear on your credit report. One example is rental history. Rent payments are not usually reported to credit bureaus, but some landlords offer this service. Additionally, for a small fee, many third-party companies will report your rent payments. Other possible tradelines are utility payments. However, these are also only added to your reports if you use a third-party reporting service. These other types of tradelines will have an impact on your credit score in two ways: length of credit history and payment history. They do not, however, impact the amount owed or a portion of your credit score.

Why is it Important to Check a Tradeline?

As you learn and add tradelines to your account, you should continue to check your credit report to ensure there are no errors. Even a good tradeline can contain errors that can harm your credit report and lenders will be looking at your tradelines to get more information. Therefore, it is important to inspect a tradeline to confirm the information contained in it, to correct any errors, and to raise a dispute for the same (if any). Additionally, if one of the credit accounts is no longer being used by the borrower, they may even request that the tradeline be removed. 

Adding quality tradelines to your credit file can affect many credit-related variables, including your average age of accounts, age of the oldest account, overall utilisation ratio, number of accounts and more. Therefore, each unfavourable comment or mistake on the credit report can have a significant impact on the credit score. Numerous missed credit-based opportunities, such as not being able to obtain the desired loan amount, negotiating power, higher credit utilisation ratio, a low-interest rate, etc., can be caused by a bad credit score. So, to get out of the loop, it is important to regularly check the credit report. 

Tradelines can also be used to improve your credit score by adding a positive credit account to your credit report. This is referred to as "piggybacking," and it entails being added as an authorised user to a good tradeline with a high credit limit and a long credit history. This can help you improve your credit score, but you must work with a reputable credit repair service to ensure that the process is legal and ethical. 

How to See the Tradelines on Credit Report?

To view tradelines on your credit report, request a copy of your credit report from any of the credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. Alternatively, you can pay for a credit monitoring service that will send you regular updates on your credit report. 

Look for the section of your credit report that lists your credit account. This section is also known as “Credit Accounts”, “Credit History” or “Tradelines”. Each account listed will include information such as the creditor’s name account number, account opening date, credit limit and payment history. 

Tradelines are the individual accounts listed on your credit report. Each tradeline displays the summary of a credit account activity over the last seven to ten years. You can go over each tradeline and double-check the information. 

In summary, follow these steps to view the tradelines on your credit report: 

  • Obtain a copy of your credit report. 
  • Examine the tradelines: After obtaining a copy of your credit report, look for a section labelled “credit accounts” or “tradelines”. This section will include a list of all accounts that have been reported to the credit bureaus. 
  • Check for completeness: Ensure that all of the information listed in the tradelines section is correct. If you discover any errors or inaccuracies on your credit report, you should file a dispute with the appropriate credit bureau. This can be accomplished by filling a dispute online, by phone or by mail. The credit bureau will investigate the error, and if necessary correct it. 

Also Read: A Helpful Guide to Understanding Your Credit Report 

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