What Credit Monitoring Services Dont Do
Credit monitoring services are informational: They dont prevent identity theft, nor do they stop people from opening new accounts or making unauthorized payments in your name. They also dont report identity theft people will need to contact the FTC if they suspect someone is using their personal information. Credit monitoring services dont prevent your information from being stolen in data breaches, fix errors found in your credit report, freeze your credit in case of fraud or warn you if anyone filed a tax return in your name.
How Credit Issuers Report Balances
Throughout your , your credit card balance changes many times as payments, credits, purchases, fees, and interest are added to your account. Your credit card issuer doesn’t report your credit card balance to the credit bureaus every day, so these daily fluctuations aren’t reflected on your credit report.
Many credit card issuers only report your credit card balance at the end of your billing cycle. This is the balance that shows on your credit card billing statement. That balance will show on your credit report each day until it’s updated again at the end of the next billing cycle.
If you’ve made any payments or purchases since your last billing cycle end date, then the balance on your credit report won’t match what you see when you log on to your online credit card account. While that might seem like a mistake, in reality, the credit card balance on your credit report hasn’t been updated yet. It can take one to two months for a payment to show up on your credit report and impact your credit score.
To have a certain balance to show on your credit report, pay your credit card down to that balance, then wait until after the end of your billing cycle to make any other purchases with your credit card. Keep in mind that finance charges are usually added to your balance at the end of the billing cycle, and this could affect the amount you need to pay to get your balance to the desired amount.
Average Age Of Accounts
Probably the best advantage of being an authorized user is being added to an old account. Even if you have no credit history, most banks give you credit for the credit cards total age.
For example, being added to a card open for at least 10 years implies that you have been on that tradeline for 10 years. One exception to this rule is American Express credit cards which reports the actual day you were added as an authorized user.
Being listed on a personal account thats less than 24 months old can hurt your approval odds for near-future credit card applications. For example, Chase credit cards is known for only approving applications when you have added 4 or less credit card accounts to your report in the most recent 24 months.
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How Jpmcb Can Cause A Hard Inquiry On Your Credit Report
Have you applied for a credit card listed above? If so, your application would have triggered a hard inquiry, which would appear on your credit report.
A hard credit inquiry is also called a hard pull or a hard credit check. Hard inquiries can have a negative effect on your credit score.
A hard inquiry indicates that you gave Chase approval to investigate your credit history. The application for a new account that you submitted serves as the bankâs authorization as is written in the application disclaimer.
Keep in mind that you may have applied for the card so long ago that youâve forgotten about it. After all, a hard credit inquiry can remain for around two years on your report.
What It Means To Report
If your business card activity not just the hard inquiry for opening the account, but your actual account activity on an ongoing basis appears on your personal credit report, it will have the same impact as the rest of your credit cards. For issuers that report business card activity to personal reports, theres one major exception to this rule: If you have employees and they have access to your business credit card as authorized users, it should appear on your credit report only, not theirs.
About two-thirds of your credit score;is determined by just two factors: Your payment history and what you owe. You can control the first by always paying your bill on time. You can somewhat control the second by paying your bill in full.;But even if you pay your bill in full and on time, the issuer may report your account status to the credit bureaus before your monthly payment clears, meaning your ;may be reported to be higher than you might think it is. The ratio basically the amounts you owe versus the total credit available to you could impact your credit score and your creditworthiness.
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Your Income And Expenses Matter Too
Dont forget that your credit is not the sole factor in determining your qualification for a new credit line.
Chase also asks for your annual income and monthly housing expenses. After all, the bank doesnt know if you can repay your balance without knowing how much free cash flow you have on a regular basis.
Without a doubt, a higher income and lower expenses mean that youre more financially capable of paying off your debt.
Ive been approved for two Chase credit cards and Ive never had to show proof of income and expenses. Looking through several financial forums, it does not appear that Chase makes it a point to verify these two pieces of financial information.
How Do Credit Card Companies Report Authorized Users
Most travel credit card companies report to the Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit bureaus that you are an authorized user. However, some only report to two of the bureaus.
The national credit card issuers that report authorized users to at least one bureau include:
- American Express
- US Bank
- Wells Fargo*
Note: Reader feedback form April 2021 indicates that Wells Fargo may no longer report authorized users.
Regional banks and credits unions may be less likely to report authorized user tradelines on the credit report. Store charge cards reporting can also vary as it depends on the bank. If you are looking at a card from a mid-size or small bank, you should contact that bank before applying.
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Worst Case Scenario: Someone Stole Your Identity
If a bureau has proof that someone using your name applied for a credit card, youâre probably dealing with a case of identity theft. Ask the bureau to place a free fraud alert on your credit report.
You can also have the bureaus freeze your credit, which means that the bureaus will not conduct any new hard inquiries. Once thieves steal an identity, they often quickly apply for more than one credit card. A freeze could limit their damage and stop them from harming your credit any further with additional negative items on your credit report.
Next, you should report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission . The FTC will walk you through the steps to file an identity theft report at its website.
You may also consider using a credit monitoring service to alert you in the future whenever thereâs any suspicious activity involving your credit.
When The Credit Card Balance On Your Report Is Wrong
If you check your credit reports and they show the wrong balance, there could be a good reason. Your credit reports show the most recent credit card balance reported by your credit card issuer. Because of the timing of credit report updates, this balance may not reflect the current balance on your credit card.
Learn how balances are reported to credit reporting agencies and what to do if your credit card balance is wrong.
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Which Business Credit Cards Could Affect Your Personal Credit
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One good reason business owners should consider opening a small business credit card is to keep that credit line off their personal credit file. But while some issuers only report business card activity to business credit bureaus, the practice is not universal. That could mean your issuer is reporting your good or bad actions to consumer credit bureaus, just like with your personal credit cards.
Although opening a business credit card will help you , if the issuer reports your card activity to a consumer bureau, it could damage your credit score even if you pay your bills on time and in full every month.
We reached out to more than a half-dozen issuers to ask about their reporting policies on their small business credit card lines. Some issuers were more forthcoming than others, but they all indicated they make a hard inquiry on your personal credit report during the application process. A hard pull could cause a small, temporary drop in your credit score, but reporting regular activity could have more lasting implications, especially if your business runs up big monthly credit card bills. Heres a look at issuers reporting policies.
Gather Materials & Documents To Dispute Errors
Before you submit your dispute, you should gather the personal information and documents the credit bureau or creditor may need to investigate your claim.
When you open a dispute, you may be asked for the following personal information:
- A copy of your drivers license or government-issued ID
- Your current address and addresses for the past two years
In addition, you may be asked for the following documentation to support your dispute:
- Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Report or a police report if an account has been added as a result of identity theft
- Billing statements
- Canceled check or money order stub showing a bill has been paid
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Unreliable Payment Processing And Outdated Technology
Some Comenity cardholders report that the bank’s payment processing system can, at times, be unreliable, especially with payments made close to the due date. This can potentially frustrate people who pay their credit card bills at the last minute, particularly if the bank levies a late fee on a payment. However, this shouldn’t be an issue if you pay your bill far enough in advance.
Comenity’s website and Comenity Bank’s apps are also outdated and harder to navigate compared to the technology of larger issuers. Plus, Comenity Bank’s apps are only available for certain credit cards . You may want to choose a different issuer if convenient online account management is important to you.
Common Credit Reporting Errors
When reviewing your reports, some common personal information and account reporting errors include:
- Personal Information reporting errors. Check to see if your name, address, birthdate and Social Security number are correct. If your report contains inaccurate personal information, it could be a sign that your identity has been stolen.
- Accounts that dont belong to you. Its possible that someone with a similar name could have an account accidentally listed on one of your reports. This could also mean that someone has stolen your identity and opened an account in your name.
- Incorrect account status. When reviewing your reports, make sure your account balance, account numbers and credit limits are accurate. Also, double-check that closed accounts arent reported as open.
- Expired debt. Negative remarks, such as collection accounts and late payments, typically remain on your credit reports for up to seven years. In most cases, the negative information automatically falls off of your credit report. If it doesnt, this could mean the time clock on the debt was reset, which may be an error.
- Reinsertion of incorrect information. Incorrect information that was disputed and removed from your credit report in the past can sometimes reappear. This means you will have to redispute the incorrect information with the credit bureaus or the creditor that is providing the information to have it removed again.
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How Often Are Your Credit Scores And Reports Updated
Credit scores are calculated only when your credit report is accessed and will reflect any changes in your credit history since the last time it was viewed. Credit reports are updated frequently, and . If you check your score often, you may notice small changes in either direction.
Why is your ? Even though an individual credit card issuer may only report your account history to each bureau once a month, they may report it to different consumer reporting agencies at different times. If you have multiple credit card accounts or loans, they may all get reported to the credit bureaus at various points throughout the month. Other items can pop up on your report and impact your score as well, such as late payments, collection accounts and hard inquiries when you apply for new credit or services.
Little fluctuations in your credit scores aren’t anything to lose sleep over. It’s more important to stick to consistent, smart credit habits, and over time, your score will gradually climb in an upward trajectory. Things you can do to encourage score improvement include:
- Pay every bill on time, every time.
- Keep credit card balances low.
- Get current on past-due accounts as quickly as you can.
- Avoid unnecessary applications for new credit.
Some Credit Cards For Bad Credit
Some credit card issuers take advantage of people with bad credit by offering them credit cards that charge outrageous fees and interest and dont help them build credit.
In general, try to avoid credit cards that charge fees to process your application or open your account. Also, stay away from cards that charge APRs higher than 30%.
Finally, double check with a credit card issuer before you apply to make sure it reports your account activity to all three credit bureaus. Most issuers that do will list that on their website. But dont be afraid to call if you cant find it anywhere.
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Do Authorized Credit Card Users Help To Build Credit
If you are just starting out in your financial journey or have lackluster credit building credit can seem impossible. How do you establish a credit history when you can’t even get approved for a loan or a credit card?
Adding yourself as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card could help to build and establish your credit.
However, there are some important factors to consider since becoming an authorized user can actually hurt your credit score if you’re added on an account that is not in good standing. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider all sides of this process to find out if it is right for you.
How Does The App Work
Chase will routinely check your report and VantageScore 3.0, which will not impact your score in any way.
Whether youre scrolling on the desktop version or mobile app, whenever your log in, youll be directed to your dashboard.
The dashboard features your most recent score, the date that it will be updated again, and access to your previous scores.
It also features a breakdown of each of the six credit factors and how youre doing in each, which can help you pinpoint ways to boost your score.
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Paying For A Credit Monitoring Service
Should you pay for a credit monitoring service or stick to the free options? Some credit monitoring services offer premium subscriptions for a monthly fee. These might include automatic scans for major changes in your credit report from one or more bureaus and identity theft protection, which proactively monitors consumers credit files, alerts them if their personal information has been used and helps them recover any money lost as a result of the identity theft, noted McCreary.
Free credit monitoring services will still alert you of changes to your credit report, but will typically monitor only one or two credit bureaus at once and monitor hard credit inquiries and changes to your personal information. “This is enough coverage for most people as it allows them to monitor their reports on their own and take action should anything unusual appear on their report, McCreary said, adding that free services typically offer complete access to your credit score.
Some paid services offer scans of your personal information on both the public and dark web. Dominique Broadway, an award-winning financial planner, personal finance coach and founder of Finances De·mys·ti·fied, told us that these alerts help her figure out what account passwords to change and how to manage her cyber security.
Changes For The Spark Cash: Wont Report To Personal Credit
Effectively immediately,;newSpark Cash Plus for Business cards will not report to your personal credit report, as originally learned by HelpMeBuildCredit and then confirmed to me personally by a Capital One spokesperson.
- Existing Spark Cash cards will still continue to report your business line to a personal report.
- All Spark Miles cards, for now, will continue to report to your personal credit.
- All Capital One cards, including these, may pull all three credit bureaus when opening an account. As far as I know, thats not changing
- This only applies to accounts in good standing. If your account is not in good standing , it;will still report to your personal credit profile.
Its unfortunate that existing Spark Cash cardholders wont get the new benefit, but one possible strategy would be to open a new Spark Cash card now even if you already have one or a Spark Miles. You are allowed to have two of the same Spark card.
You can earn the cash on your new Spark Cash Plus and you can convert those into miles online. Or cash out as cash. Thats a benefit of having both Capital One Spark cards the ability to cash out at full value;or convert to miles.;
Its great to see that Capital One is hearing that people do care about this distinction and is moving to be more in line with all other issuers .
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