Your Credit Report: It’s all About What Others Report

by Miranda Marquit · 4 comments

You know that your credit score is based on information in your credit history. However, few people wonder how it gets there. The answer is relatively simple: Your creditors report information about you to the credit bureaus. When you pay on time, or if you are late, your lenders report that information. Your entire credit history and credit report depends on how creditors and others report to the credit bureaus, and that information can impact the way your financial reputation looks on paper. Here are a few areas to watch out for.

Late Payments

One of the biggest determinants of your credit score is whether or not you make on time payments. If you are generally a good borrower, and pay on time, but miss the due date by a couple of days one time, your creditor may decide not to report it as a late payment. Some creditors won’t report you as late until after the payment is 30 days late.

While this is nice, there are some creditors that will report a payment as late the day after — no matter how good a customer you are — and negatively impact your credit score. It is important to get a feel for the way creditors report late payments so that you know what to expect. Of course, it’s best to make sure payments are on time, and avoid the problem altogether.

Editor’s Note: Beware about credit card payments. The credit card companies are required to report your payment dates to the credit bureau. If it’s late, it’s late, even if it’s just one day. If you care about your credit score, then make sure your payments are on time without exception!

Non-Credit Payment Delinquencies

While creditors will report that your account is paid on time, others to whom you have obligations won’t. This includes utilities, cell phone providers and other service providers. You won’t get any good marks for making these payments on time, but these non-credit obligations can affect your credit score if you don’t pay. Your landlord, utility company or any other provider can report your delinquency to the major credit bureaus, even though they aren’t lending you money. Most will wait at least 60 days to report you, but some may report a missed payment sooner. This is a good reminder that negative decisions you make with regard to money can find its way to your credit history, even if you aren’t borrowing money.

Credit Report Mistakes

With millions of records being report constantly, there are bound to be mistakes here and there. Sometimes, a creditor will report an account as closed by the company, rather than by the customer (which is a slightly more negative situation), even though the customer made the request. In some cases, as happened with one of my husband’s student loans, a credit item can be reported twice, making it look like you have more debt than you actually do. And, of course, there are other mistakes that find their way on to a credit report too.

When you find mistakes in your credit history, you need to contact the creditor in order to get the problem fixed. While you can send copies of your documentation to the credit bureaus that have the mistake, it is up to the company that reported the information incorrectly to carry through with getting the problem fixed. You should write a letter to the creditor, explaining the situation, and including copies of supporting documents. Keep copies for yourself, and send the information by certified mail, so you know when it arrives. A creditor has 30 days to investigate and fix the problem if an error occurred. Be sure to follow up after 30 days to make sure the mistake is corrected.

You have to be careful of what is on your credit report, and remember that the information in there is only as good as what others report about you.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Harry Dingey says:

    How would you like to totally pay off the National Debt without costing the American People one penny?

    How would you like to Abolish the Internal Revenue Service?



    If the money supply goes up you create INFLATION and prices goes up.

    If the money supply goes down you create DEFLATION and prices goes down.

    If the money supply remains CONSTANT. Prices tend to trend lower.

    1) First we Abolish the Federal Reserve established in 1913..

    2) Then we Abolish the Internal Revenue Service established in 1913 along with the Federal Reserve, which serves as the collection arm of the Federal Reserve to pay itself Annual Interest for money we borrowed from ourself.

    3) Then We take “fractional reserve banking system” away from all banks and go back to “100% reserve banking system”.

    4) Presently the Federal Reserve allows all banks to legally print $10 new Dollars for every dollar they hold on deposit (this is really counterfeiting). This increases bank profits and the Money Supply by a factor of tenfold for every new dollar printed by the Treasury Department and also causes Inflation.

    5) This year the Federal Government will borrow and print $1.5 Trillion Dollars.

    Eventually this money ends up deposited in a bank. The Banks just like a magician are allowed to take that $1.5 Trillion Dollars and turn it into $15 Trillion Dollars, this will Increase the Money Supply by total of $15 Trillion Dollars.

    Wait a minute!!! Ain’t that the same amount we need to pay off the entire Federal National Debt?

    We must take “Fractional Reserve Banking System” (this should be called CONTERFITING ) away from the banks and force them to use “100 % Reserve Banking System”.

    Then tell the Treasury Department to print up $15 Trillion Dollars of non-interest bearing Treasury notes (dollars) and buy back all the Interest bearing Bonds (Our Total National Debt).

    This will not increase the Money Supply by even one penny because we will destroy all the interest bearing Bonds we just purchased.

    WOW.. we just paid off the entire $15 trillion dollar National Debt by printing non-bearing interest Treasury notes (dollars) and did not cost the American people one penny.

    We totally eleminated the National Debt, eleminated annual interest payments on the National Debt, eleminated paying Federal Income Taxes and created a positive surplus of $2.6 Trillion dollar in the Social Security trust fund,

    Every time I go through the calculations I think of other benefits.

    Some National Debt Facts:

    • Social Security trust fund is $2.6 trillion in the black (IOU’s).
    • Social Security trust fund in 2010 ran a $68 billion surplus.
    • Only $1.2 trillion is owed to China.
    • $10 trillion is owed to American people.

    When we pay-off the National Debt as I have suggested we automatically create a Positive Social Security Trust Fund of $2.6 trillion dollars that I suggest we separate this Trust Fund from the General Account.

    Presently we are paying about $400 Billion Dollars every year interest on the National Debt (money we borrowed from ourself). But, if interest rates starts going up because of Hyper-Inflation and that’s exactly what the Price of Gold is telling us right now. This interest we are paying on the National Debt could easily grow to an amount larger than the total Federal Gross Income tax receipts.

    This is a very Powerful Monetary Tool and this gives you an idea of how the banks has been given this sweetheart deal by Congress back in 1913 which has allowed the Banks to literally rob the American people out of trillions of dollars. The Federal Reserve has already screwed the American People out of $150 Trillion Dollars since its inception.

    This will force all the American Banks to go back to a Fair Banking System of “one hundred percent reserve banking system”.

    What happens if we do NOTHING?

    The alternative is to let the Federal Reserve continue screwing the American people out of TRILLIONS of DOLLARS year after year?

    Do you understand what is going to happen when the Feds are forced to start increasing the interest rates to stop the coming Hyper-Inflation?

    Back in the 1980s Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker was forced to increase Interest rates because of run-away inflation and the Interest rates jump to around 20%. If that was to happen now we could easily see the Annual Interest Charged on our National Debt jump to around $2.8 Trillion Dollars a year. That my friend does not include the projected Annual Budget short fall of another $1.6 Trillion Dollars.

    This is exactly why the Price of Gold has increased from $300/oz. to $1,800/oz., a six fold increase. Gold is trying to tell everyone something but no one is listening as usual?

    We could end up paying more annual interest on the National Debt than the Internal Revenue Service collects in annual gross Income Tax receipts?

    That is called Absolute National Bankruptcy.

    The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is just another privately owned organization setup by the Rockefeller Family to benefit all the large drug Companies and the Medical establishment. The Pharmaceutical Industry, AMA and FDA are Endangering Your Health for Profits.

    Please copy and post if you like this idea.

    Harry Dingey

  • MoneyNing says:

    Like Vered, I had no US credit history when I first came to the US. I had to put down a deposit for everything, like cell phones, and utilities. I couldn’t even get a credit card, but the bank luckily offered a secured card option, where I prepay a set amount which becomes the limit.

    It was a slow process but I eventually built up my credit history (aka credit report). All lenders care is what’s on the report. If there are any mistakes, you are most likely the one that will be hurt so take the time to fix it immediately.

  • vered says:

    We relocated to California from Israel 11 years ago. I remember how difficult it was to manage at first in terms of getting credit – we had no US credit history. Even something as straightforward as getting a mobile phone was difficult. We got credit cards with very low limits (I think the first was $500 a month). As we slowly built our credit history, we saw a gradual increase in lenders’ willingness to extend credit to us and to give us loans.

  • Cd Phi says:

    Great post. Sometimes as consumers, it’s hard for us to understand how exactly a credit report works and how the information gets there. And yes, it is absolutely important to fix credit report mistakes ASAP.

Leave a Comment