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Topics addressed on May 17, 2006:
Cellular telephone bill payments are not usually reported
I have had a cell phone for more than three years now. Why isn't it on my credit report?
Cellular telephone bills, utility bills and other service contracts are not reported routinely to Experian or the other national credit reporting companies, so they usually aren’t part of a person’s credit report unless they become a bad debt turned over to a collection agency.
Experian is looking very closely at ways in which those kinds of positive payments could be included in your credit report because they could be an excellent indicator of creditworthiness for people just beginning to establish a credit history. This is particularly true for young people and new immigrants.
However, there are a number of challenges to including cellular telephone and other utility bill payments in credit histories. The most significant is that laws in some states make it illegal for utility companies to report your bill payment history.
Additionally, businesses reporting the payments would have to meet all of the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is no small undertaking.
In time, though, you might see these kinds of bills reported regularly.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team