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.
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.
You can add missing accounts to your credit report by contacting your lenders directly and asking them to begin reporting the accounts to the credit bureaus. Just bear in mind that lenders have the discretion to choose which credit bureau(s) they report to, so if they don't report to the bureau that produced your report, you may need to pull another bureau's credit report.… read full answer
It's also important to note that the names lenders use to report information to the credit bureaus may be different than the names you know them by. As a result, it's a good idea to carefully scrutinize your credit report to see if that’s the case.
You can always check your full TransUnion credit report and credit score on WalletHub, the only website that offers free daily updates to both. Your free account will also give you access to 24/7 credit monitoring, meaning you will get timely alerts related to any significant changes in your report (such as new inquiries, new accounts, etc.).
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.
Paying utility bills on time won’t help your credit score. But failing to do so could hurt it. Most utility companies (e.g. cable, internet, gas, electric) do not report account information to the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis, you see.
So on-time payments won’t add positive information to your credit reports – the key to credit improvement. Rather, utility bills are generally reported to the bureaus only when they’re past-due and/or sent to collections. And having late payments, collections accounts and other such … read full answernegative records on your credit report will damage your credit.
To prevent utility bills from harming your credit score, you clearly need to pay them on time. And WalletHub’s on-time payment tips will give you a good sense of how to accomplish that. In particular, setting up automatic monthly payments from a deposit account will at least prevent forgetfulness from hurting your credit. Some good-old-fashioned budgeting will help, too.
Finally, it’s worth noting that certain specialized credit scores do incorporate utilities payments. But those scoring models are the exception, not the rule. And they aren’t used for most lending decisions.
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