Services You Can Use If Your Landlord Does
ClearNow: This service debits your rent from your checking or savings account. Theres no cost to tenants, but your landlord must be signed up. If you opt in, payments are reported to Experian via its RentBureau.
PayYourRent: Fees are typically paid by management. It reports to all three credit bureaus.
Warning: Alternative Data Isnt Always Helpful
But be careful. Adding more information to your credit profile can help. But it can also work against you.
For example, a credit score that takes into account alternative data, such as your bank account information, could potentially rate you more negatively if you have limited funds in your account or have recently had a lot of big expenses.
Similarly, just as a missed payment on your credit card can hurt you, so can a late electricity payment or a lapsed phone bill.
Before you share more information about yourself and your financial history, think carefully about whether you really want to show that much information to lenders.
If you prefer to have more control over your information, you can also choose to only work with self-reporting services, such as Experian Boost or a rent reporting service, that let you choose exactly what gets reported.
How To Add Positive Information To Your Credit Report
When you follow up with either a creditor or credit bureau regarding information on your credit report, its important to follow a few key steps to track your progress. Keep diligent records of all communication you have with anyone regarding your credit report, whether its a phone call, a letter, or an email.
Oftentimes youre required to send a request through the mail. If thats the case, send your letter through certified mail so you can confirm it successfully arrived.
This prevents a creditor from claiming ignorance of your request. If you speak to someone on the phone, get their full name and ID number if they have one.
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What If You Have No Accounts
You need open, active, positive accounts to build a positive credit history. If you dont already have open accounts, start by applying for the types of credit cards or loans for people with no credit or bad credit, like a secured credit card or retail store credit card. If you cant get approved on your own, a relative or friend may be willing to co-sign for you or make you an authorized user on one of their credit cards to help boost your credit. If the primary cardholder has a positive payment history, you might see a boost in your credit score.
However, beware of schemes that claim to help you improve your credit score by adding you as an authorized user to a stranger’s account. Such a tactic may cause you legal troubles.
What Types Of Payments Can I Report To Credit Bureaus
Although you cannot self-report traditional credit account information to the credit reporting companies, there are types of payments you can request to have added to your Experian credit history:
- Rental payments: If you rent a home or apartment, your landlord or property management company can report your on-time rental payments to your Experian credit report through Experian RentBureau. You can also choose to enroll in a third-party rent payment service that will report your payments at your request. Having positive rent payments reported to Experian can be especially helpful for people who are trying to establish their credit history for the first time or who are trying to rebuild after credit difficulties.
- Cellphone, utility and streaming service payments: By signing up with Experian Boost, you can add your positive cellphone, utility and streaming service payments to your Experian credit report going back up to 24 months. Adding this payment information can instantly boost your Experian credit score.
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Ways To Strengthen Your Business Credit Report
2 minutes Read
A strong business credit report is an important asset for any small company. With it, a business has the potential to access the capital it needs. A good credit report can also help a business secure the best pricing for supplies and inventory and take advantage of opportunities as they arise.
These five tips can help you improve your credit rating:
1. Get your hands on your credit report
The first step toward strengthening your business credit report is to get a copy. Some business owners feel too busy to focus on this task others avoid it because they are afraid of what the report might contain. While understandable, this head in the sand approach can hinder your companys ability to thrive. Prospective capital providers and vendors may review your companys credit score with the various business credit bureaus. Since a credit report is widely viewed as a good predictor of a businesss likelihood to pay its bills and stay healthy, those firms will likely place a lot of stock in it. You can order a copy of your report from the major credit bureaus: . If your business is young and the credit bureaus dont yet have a profile on you, create a business profile on their sites with all of your current information.
2. Update basic information
3. Check your credit rating and payment history
4. Fix any mistakes
5. Build your payment history
Why You Could Have Different Credit Reports From Different Bureaus
The credit bureaus can only report on the information thats provided to them. Since lenders are not required to report to all three major credit bureaus, you might find information about certain accounts on one credit report, but not others.
Even when lenders do report information to all three major bureaus, they may report that information at different times. Given all the credit information included in a typical credit report, its perfectly normal to observe some minor differences between your credit reports.
Mistakes do happen from time to time. If you think your credit reports are different due to legitimate errors, you can dispute those errors with each credit bureau.
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Learning About Credit Bureaus
Does Paying Phone And Utility Bills Help Build Credit
If you keep up with your utility and phone bills and that activity is reported to credit bureaus, it could help boost your credit. But keep in mind, those bills are just one possible factor in credit scoring. And falling behind on them or other bills could have negative effects.
Using a credit card to pay utilities? You could affect your credit in another way, even if your payments arenât reported. Thatâs because credit cards are typically reported to bureaus. So there are other factors that could affect your credit, like whether you pay on time and how close to your credit limit you get.
It may not affect your credit, but itâs worth checking: Some utilities charge processing fees if you try to pay bills with a credit card.
How Do Utility and Phone Bill Payments Appear on My Credit Reports?
Unlike traditional credit factors, alternative data like utility bills isnât typically reported to credit bureaus. But if they are, they will appear on your as whatâs known as a tradeline. Tradelines, the CFPB says, typically include account information, including payment history.
If your payment history isnât being reported, there may be steps you can take to change that. This process, called âself-reporting,â requires a third-party service to get your information into the hands of credit bureaus.
Before you decide to use a self-reporting service, there are a few things you should know:
How Do Cellphone and Utility Bill Payments Affect Credit Scores?
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How To Remove Items From Your Credit Report In 2021
Weve outlined how to remove negative items from your credit report, the paid services you can opt to use, and additional information to have on hand. It is important to clarify that only incorrect items can be removed. If youve done this already, but your credit score is still low, you will need to repair bad credit over time. Although accurate items cannot be removed by you or anyone else, there are still many credit report errors that can damage your score, and these are worth looking out for.
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How Do I Improve My Credit
Look at your free credit report. The report will tell you how to improve your credit history. Only you can improve your credit. No one else can fix information in your credit report that is not good, but is correct.
It takes time to improve your credit history. Here are some ways to help rebuild your credit.
- Pay your bills by the date they are due. This is the most important thing you can do.
- Lower the amount you owe, especially on your credit cards. Owing a lot of money hurts your credit history.
- Do not get new credit cards if you do not need them. A lot of new credit hurts your credit history.
- Do not close older credit cards. Having credit for a longer time helps your rating.
After six to nine months of this, check your credit report again. You can use one of your free reports from Annual Credit Report.
Date Of Birth And Social Security Number
First of all, make sure your date of birth and social security number are listed. These two basic items help creditors verify your identity and they may not approve your request for credit if they cant confirm this basic information. Your current and previous addresses should also be listed unless you own property and are at risk of being sued.
In that situation, you run the risk of having collections target your property to repay past debts. But if youre free and clear of any delinquent accounts or threat of litigation, your updated address indicates stability and continuity. These are important attributes when applying for credit.
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Some Bills Dont Help Your Credit
Not all the bills you pay each month get reported to credit bureaus regularly. For example, your cell phone, cable, and auto insurance payments dont help build a positive credit history, even when you pay on time. However, if you default on these payments and your account gets sent to a collections agency, the debt could be added to your credit report and hurt your progress toward building a good credit score.
Watch out for credit repair scams and ploys about improving your credit score. Credit repair companies dont have any privileges with your credit history that you dont also have.
Building a positive credit history isnt as hard as it seems. Open up an account and pay the bill on time every month, and youre building a positive credit history. With time your credit score will improve, and youll be able to afford bigger credit card limits and loans.
Hiring A Collection Agency Or Credit Reporting Service
Accounts That Are Inaccurately Reported
If your credit report contains negative accounts that should be positive, you can use the to have the information corrected. For example, your credit report may show that you were late on a payment that youre certain you paid on time. To correct credit report errors, you need to send a dispute letter to the credit bureaus citing the error and providing a copy of any proof that shows the information is indeed incorrect.
The bureau will investigate and revise your credit report if the investigation supports your claim. If not, you can follow up with a dispute directly with the business that reported the error.
Can Late Phone And Utility Bill Payments Affect Credit
Now the flipside: Getting behind on payments can lower your credit score even if your bills arenât being reported regularlyâwhether that reporting is done by companies themselves or through self-reporting.
Depending on how far behind you fall, you could incur penalties or late charges, and your account could be turned over to a collections agency. If itâs reported to the credit bureaus, collections activity can stay on your credit report for seven years, sometimes longer, according to the CFPB.
Services You Can Use Independently
Note that your landlord may need to verify your rent payments. Some services may not be able to report your payments if your landlord wont verify.
Rent Reporters: There is a one-time enrollment fee of $94.95, which includes up to two years of reported rental payments, then the service is $9.95 per month. It reports to TransUnion and Equifax.
Rental Kharma: Initial setup is $50, including six months of past history, and the service is $8.95 per month. It reports to TransUnion.
LevelCredit: Previously known as RentTrack, LevelCredit charges a $6.95 monthly fee to have your rent and utility payments reported to Equifax and TransUnion. A look-back of up to 24 months is available on your current lease for a fee.
Rock the Score: There is an enrollment fee of $48, and ongoing service costs $6.95 per month. There is a $65 fee for reporting up to two years of rental history. It reports to TransUnion and, if the landlord is a property manager, Equifax.
Esusu Rent reports your rental payments to the three major credit bureaus. You can sign up as an independent renter for a $50 annual fee on the Esusu Rent mobile app.
PaymentReport: A $49 enrollment fee gets you two years of rental history reported to Equifax and TransUnion. Ongoing reporting is free.
How Self Formerly Self Lender Works
Once a loan application is approved by Self, the loan amount is deposited in a certificate of deposit with one of its partner banks. Youll make regular payments over the life of the loan. After all payments are made, you get access to the money minus the finance charges . If you decide to close your account before its paid off, you can access the money in the CD, minus the amount you still owe.
Self offers one- and two-year terms, depending on what you want your monthly payment to be. The lowest payment is $25 a month you can also choose payments of $35, $48 or $150 per month. Theres a nonrefundable administrative fee of $9, and the APRs do not exceed 16%, according to the company. Sample product: $25 monthly payment, 24-month term with a $9 administration fee at a 14.92% Annual Percentage Rate. Please refer to self.inc/pricing for the most recent pricing options.
Self reports your payments to the three major credit bureaus. Any late payments will hurt the credit you are trying to build. After about six months, your repayment activity should generate a FICO score if you didnt already have one your VantageScore can be generated sooner.
A larger loan won’t help you build your score significantly faster. Be sure to pick a payment amount that is comfortable. A late payment could hurt your credit, and thats the last thing you want.
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