Credit Reports Now Show More Details About Your Spending Habits

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The change won't affect your credit scores, but it will reveal to lenders whether you carry a balance or pay off your credit card bills each month.

All three major credit bureaus now track whether you pay your credit card bill in full each month.

“In the past, your credit file displayed your monthly balance, your credit limit and whether you failed to make at least the minimum payment,” says. Now Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are listing historical payment data — the amounts you actually paid, going back as far as two years ago.

The new information will tell lenders whether you’re the type of consumer who carries a balance from month to month and racks up interest charges — a “revolver” — or the type who usually pays in full, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says. That, in turn, helps lenders know how risky you are, and could affect the credit offers you get.

What it won’t do, at least for now, is affect your credit score, the Post-Gazette says. Anthony Sprauve, spokesman for the widely used FICO score, says it will take time to see if the new data reliably predicts whether people pay their debts.

TransUnion vice president Ezra Becker suggested the data might have other practical uses besides credit scores. “Say every December you run into payment trouble. Maybe a one-month relief program — an offer to skip a payment — would be a nice program for you,” he told the Post-Gazette. Meanwhile, people who pay in full might get more offers from lenders for cash-back and reward cards, he said.

Have you noticed your payment history in your credit reports yet? Do you think it’s a good change or a bad one? Comment below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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