Adverse Credit Report Codes

Credit Report *adverse action codes and adverse action descriptions used in consumer credit reports.

All three major credit reporting agencies (CRAs) utilize one of three credit scoring models. Experian uses Fair-Isaac Version 2, Equifax uses Beacon 96 and TransUnion uses Emperica. Over a year ago Fair-Isaac Corporation (FICO) released the latest scoring model known as NextGen (next generation), however, none of the three CRA’s have made the change. FICO, by far the leader in credit scoring boasts that as of April 6th, 2004 its credit services are used more than 750 times per second to make a credit decision.

Here is a list of Adverse Action Codes and their description:

Code Description

01 The amount owed on accounts too high 

02 Delinquency on accounts too high 

03 Too few bank revolving accounts 

04 Too many revolving accounts 

05 Too many accounts with balances 

06 Consumer finance accounts 

07 Account payment history too new to rate 

08 Too many recent account inquiries last 12 months

09 Too many accounts opened last 12 months 

10 The proportion of balances to credit limit too high 

11 The amount owed on revolving accounts too high 

12 Length of credit history too short

13 Time since delinquent too recent 

14 Lack of recent bank revolving activity is short 

16 Lack of recent revolving activity too short 

17 No recent non-mortgage balance information

18 Number of accounts with delinquency 

19 Too few accounts paid as agreed 

20 Time since derogatory public record collection

21 Amount of past due on account

22 Serious delinquency, derogatory public records or collection 

24 No revolving balances 

28 Number of established accounts 

30 Time since the last account opening too short 

31 Too few accounts with recent payment 

32 Lack of recent installment loan information 

33 The proportion of loan balances to loan amounts too high 

34 The amount owed on delinquent accounts 

35 Payment due on accounts 

36 Length of time open accounts have been established 

37 The number of consumer finance company accounts established/relative to the length of credit history. 

38 Serious delinquency and public records or collections filed 

39 Serious delinquency 

40 Delinquency public record or collections filed 

47 Number of consumer finance inquiries 

97 Lack of recent auto loan information 

98 Length of time consumer company loans have been established 

99 Lack of recent consumer finance company account information.


The adverse action codes, used by the CRA’s are somewhat of a mystery to consumers. All three CRAs list the four known “Adverse Actions” on each credit report, which are intended to give the consumer an explanation and also illustrate the top four adverse conditions on their individual reports. Sometimes the codes are four or five digits, always with the last two numbers being adverse code. There are close to 40 adverse action codes, with many gaps in-between the numbers – which may be filled in as the need arises. The CRA’s take deductions from the credit score for each adverse action that applies, many of which are similar.

*The Better Credit Scores information outlined above are courtesy of TrueCredit.