The Sears Credit Card reports to the credit bureaus monthly, within days after the end of a cardholder’s monthly billing period. Sears Credit Card reports the card’s credit limit, account balance, payment history, and more to all three of the major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Citibank may use a specific credit bureau more than another, depending on the applicant’s home state, and other factors.
Once Sears Credit Card reports your account information to a credit bureau, it may take a few days before the updates appear on your credit report. New Sears Credit Card cardholders may not see any new credit account info on their credit report for one or two billing periods after getting a card.
Closing a credit card with zero balance is not a good idea if that card has no annual fee. Any credit card you manage responsibly, even an unused one, reflects positively on your credit history. So closing such a card will have a negative impact on your credit standing. But it can be worth it if your card is costly or if you’re worried about falling victim to fraud while you’re not keeping a close eye on it.… read full answer
Here are the arguments against closing a credit card with zero balance:
Average account age suffers. This makes up at least 15% of your overall credit rating, so shortening it can hurt. Here’s a quick example: Imagine you have three credit card accounts, which have been open for 3 years, 5 years and 10 years, respectively. The average account age is 6 years. If you close the 10-year-old account, the age of your average account falls to 4 years. Older accounts are better for your score because a long track record of responsibility tells issuers you’re likely to behave the same way in the future.
Utilization increases. “Utilization,” or how much of your credit line you use, is important to your score. Creditors care about both your utilization on individual cards and your total utilization. Generally, the lower each is, the better. And closing an account with zero balance will increase your total utilization.Let’s say you have three credit cards, each with a $1,000 credit line. You use 0% of one and 25% of the other two. Overall, that’s 16.7% utilization. But if you cancel the unused card, it jumps to 25%. That’s troublesome because credit score damage typically worsens if your utilization rises above 30%, and you’d be close to that milestone.
So closing an account will be a blow to your credit. You can improve your score afterward by paying on time with your remaining account(s). But it’s usually best to just keep accounts open and avoid the damage entirely. There are a few exceptions, though.
Here’s when to close a credit card with zero balance:
It has an expensive annual fee.
You’re worried about fraud and won’t be monitoring the card as closely. All credit cards give you a $0 fraud liability guarantee, but you might not want to count on the issuer to flag every fraudulent charge on its own.
Keeping it open becomes a hassle, for one reason or another.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, it is possible to close a credit card that has a balance. But you’ll still be responsible for paying and will continue to accrue interest until the balance is fully paid off, even after the account is closed. You just won’t be able to make any new purchases.
You can attempt to add positive accounts to your credit report by requesting that your lender report your account to the three major credit bureaus. Some lenders report to just one or two of the major bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion), so your credit report may vary based on which company is putting it together. Others may choose not to your report at all, as there is no law that requires lenders to report information to the credit bureaus.… read full answer
Most major lenders report to at least one of the major credit bureaus, so you are only likely to run into this issue with smaller, local lenders. If you are hoping to add more open accounts to your credit report, there are also services available to add rent payments and utilities to certain score calculations.
You can apply for a secured card and use it responsibly, too. This will help you boost your credit score organically.
To report rent payments to the credit bureaus, sign up for a rent-reporting service such as LevelCredit. These services report on-time rent payments to the major credit bureaus for inclusion on your credit report. Some require your landlord to create and maintain an active account, while others just require verification that they own or manage the property and have an active lease with you.… read full answer
Subscription Services to Report Rent Payments to Credit Bureaus:
With so many different services available for reporting your rent payments to the credit bureaus, there are a few key things to consider when deciding which one is right for you.
How much effort does my landlord need to go through to sign up, and will the landlord provide all of the information needed? Some services just require a phone call or an email. Others require a driver’s license or a copy of the lease. In many cases, the landlord will have to sign up for and maintain an account with the service. Individual landlords may not want to sign up with a new service just to potentially help out your credit score.
How much does the service cost for a year? Payment options for these services vary. Some require a large initial deposit while others charge monthly or require a contract. The best way to report rent payments to the credit bureaus for free is to sign up for a service like MoCaFi, which offers free reporting to Equifax if you use its phone app.
Does the service include rental history? Depending on how the service tracks rent, it may be capable of checking past payment history. Others only begin tracking rent payments once you’ve signed up for the service.
Which credit bureaus does the service report to? Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Some services only report to a single credit bureau, while others report to multiple.
When will your rent appear on your credit report? It could take days, weeks or even months to be added to your credit report.
How can you cancel the service? Some services require contracts and others are only valid while you live at a certain address. Check if you can update your account when you move or if you need to cancel.
The value of reporting your rent will vary based on your current credit score, but TransUnion research found that renters with subprime credit scores who made timely rental payments could see their credit scores increase by 26 points after a year of rent payment reporting. You can track your progress with free credit reports and scores through your WalletHub account, all for free.
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