Is Your Salary on Your Credit Report?

Your salary is not on your credit report. It has been more than 20 years since credit reports included salaries. Credit bureaus stopped collecting salary information because the data was self-reported and usually inaccurate.

Additional Reasons

The major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – also skip collecting salary data because too many rapidly changing variables impact salary, such as unexpected layoffs and bonuses and commissions that are unknown until they are given. An individual might also experience unemployment during a period of time, and if that person collects unemployment benefits, they are technically earning money, even though unemployment benefits are not earnings from a job. Fluctuating and finite payments, such as child support and alimony – and benefits, such as public assistance – can also skew the picture of a person’s earnings.

Ultimately, however, knowing how much a person earns is not an indication of whether the person will make a loan payment and is not an effective tool for factoring credit scores. For this reason, the credit bureaus leave it up to lenders to ask credit applicants for details about their earnings.

What Credit Reports Include

A credit report includes your name, address, Social Security number (SSN) and the name of your employer, solely for the purpose of confirming your identity. Credit reports list open and closed trade accounts in good standing. The reports note public records and collections, which are the bills that you did not pay and that the creditor sent to a collection agency or sued you for payment in a court of law. Credit reports also show a list of inquiries (hard inquiries and soft inquiries), which occur when lenders and other businesses look at your credit report. Some lenders take the number of inquiries into consideration when determining whether to extend credit.

Credit Report vs. Credit Score

Keep in mind that credit reports and credit scores are not the same thing. A credit score is a numerical representation of a credit report (the higher the better; scores top out at 850). You are allowed to see your credit report for free once a year from each credit bureau. They may offer you the option of paying to see your credit score, but it's better to get it right from the horse's mouth: FICO (formerly the Fair Isaac Corporation).