Activity 5: Reading a Credit Report

(Objective 2: Become familiar with the information on a credit report, how it is used and how to improve a credit report.)

Provide participants with a copy of Handout 4: Sample Credit Report.

Review the main sections of the sample report, highlighting the types of information found and how to read a report:

Identification information Name(s)

  • Social Security Number
  • Current and former addresses

Employment data

  • Current and previous employers length of employment

Public records

  • Bankruptcies

Bill paying history

  • All loans are listed here
  • Unpaid or overdue payments are also listed here. How much and to whom is owed


  • Businesses/individuals who have inquired about your credit

Ask participants to review Handout 4: Sample Credit Report and identify something on the report that a landlord would consider negative and something that a landlord would find positive.

Information they may identify:

  • One public record is a bankruptcy.
  • Has one account with 1 late payment, 4 open accounts, 2 different types.
  • Currently in good standing with 4 open accounts.
  • Numerous inquiries have been made to the report. Note the 2 different types and why.

Items landlords check on Credit Reports:

  • a record of not paying rent
  • utilities paid on time (utilities may or may not report)
  • pattern of unpaid bills
  • number of applications to other landlords
  • addresses consistent
  • Social Security number matches