When reviewing credit reports you’ll undoubtedly find seemingly random letters and numbers listed along with your accounts.
Those letters and numbers just aren’t there to fill space, they are credit codes that must be accurate according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Knowing how to read credit codes is important to the credit dispute process.
Discovering an inaccurate credit code could lead to a negative item being removed from your credit reports.
Here are common credit codes on your credit reports.
ECOA credit codes
ECOA stands for “Equal Credit Opportunity Act,” and ECOA codes indicate your relationship to a particular account.
A – Authorized User
This letter indicates that you are authorized to use the account indicated, but are under no financial responsibility for the account. However, if the primary account holder has late payments or defaults, it will reflect on your credit reports until you request it be deleted. It’s a fairly simple dispute that the credit bureaus must honor.
C – Joint Account Contractual Responsibility
This individual is contractually obligated to repay all debts arising on this account. There are other people associated with this account who may or may not have contractual responsibility.
I – Individual Account
An account marked with a letter “I” is your account. You are the primaryand only account holder responsible for managing the account.
J – Joint Account
Only married couples have accounts marked with a “J” on their credit reports because you can only share a joint account with a spouse. Both you and your spouse are contractually financially liable for joint accounts.
M – Maker
On accounts marked with an “M,” you are responsible along with a co-signer who is not your spouse. This cosigner has agreed to assume joint liability for the account.
P – Participating Account
This letter indicates an account is technically a joint account, but contractual liability is not determined.
S – Signer
For accounts marked with “S,” you are the cosigner, but the primary borrower is not a spouse. If the primary borrower defaults, the co-signor is financially responsible for the account.
T – Terminated
Joint or cosigned accounts listed with a “T” means that your association with an account is no longer valid. Therefore, you are no longer financially liable.
U – Undesignated
Accounts marked “U” indicate that the primary owner is unknown.
X – Deceased
On a credit report, the letter “X” indicates the death of the report owner.
“R” credit codes
“R” stands for the Rating System that describes your payment history.
R0 or I0
Too new to rate. Typically you are new to credit and have insufficient payment history to calculate a score.
R1 or I1
Pays account as agreed. You make on-time payments.
R2 or I2
Not more than two payments past due. Payment is 30 days late.
R3 or I3
Not more than three payments past due. Payment is 60 days late.
R4 or I4
Not more than four payments past due. Payment is 90 days late.
R5 or I5
More than 120 days or four payments past due. You have a 120+ days late reporting.
R7 or I7
You are making a consolidated debt payment.
R8 or I8
R9 or I9
You officially have bad debt, charge-off or placed for collection.